Looking backwards and forwards at Whois
What’s wrong with Whois? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps a lot. We lack the data to answer with certainty.
The Whois service has drawn a lot of thought and debate from the ICANN community for ten years. In fact, the global look-up service has been the subject of so many points of view and so many policy suggestions that last May, the GNSO Council tasked the Policy Staff with rounding up all the suggestions that have been made thus far.
The report that the GNSO requested was published at the end of March. And it turns out to have a great side-effect. If you haven’t been tracking the Whois debates closely, this report rehearses the highlights of past discussions, concisely. It reminds me of turning on my favorite television drama and getting that one-minute reminder of where the story left off: “Previously on Mad Men…”
So, don’t be daunted by the title, “Whois Requirements Inventory.” Lead author Steve Sheng did a terrific job of crafting a summary that serves novices and veterans alike.
The GNSO also asked that the report list requirements that could be needed soon, in a world of countless new TLDs and internationalized domain names. So, the report not only surveys the past; it also suggests what Whois needs for the future.
If you have a point of view on Whois — or would like enough context to form one — the report is well worth your time. For further context, and a link to the report itself, check out the audio interview with Steve Sheng on the E-Learning page’s Audio Briefings section: http://icann.org/en/learning/audio-briefings.htm.
If you listen to the interview and/or read the report, you might wish you could talk with Steve directly about the issues. Your chance to ask questions and add further suggestions about Whois arrives on 20 April and 4 May, as Steve leads live webinars about Whois requirements. For more details, refer to this webinar announcement.
And if that isn’t enough Whois information to satisfy anybody, I don’t know Whatis.