Domain names come of age

DNS is 21 years old

We are still in the Bronze Age of the Internet, according to the man who created the Domain Name System 21 years ago.

Dr Paul Mockapetris created the system of .com, .org and .gov which end Internet addresses in 1983 while at the Information Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California. Jon Postel shares the credit for the system.

Mockapetris told the BBC: "Ten years from now, we will wonder how it was so hard find on the network too. At best we at the Bronze Age, we are not even at the Iron Age stage in the network." He believes in future all communication will be over the Internet.

Mockapetris was one of the scientists working on the forerunner to the Internet ARPAnet - the first packet switching network funded by the Department of Defence. He is now head scientist and chairman of Nominum a DNS management company.

Mockapetris said he had always argued for diversity and was pleased that people had tried so many different things. He is surprised at how the technology has turned into such an industry. For the next 21 years he would like to see bettter access, security and easier ways to find information and people.

Universal Internet access for everyone in the world is another important goal. Mockapetris points out that although we have an idea of an ideal natural world - how it was 1,000 years ago without pollution, cyberspace and the net have no natural starting point - it's up to us to invent it. ®

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