I hate the new mail system

Pete Turnbull pete at dunnington.plus.com
Thu Mar 9 04:24:05 CST 2017

On 09/03/2017 07:25, Tor Arntsen wrote:

> I did an strace and I can confirm that the Linux 'whois' client that I
> used from those various sites sends '-T dn' (or actually -T dn,ace)
>    write(3, "-T dn,ace uni-stuttgart.de\r\n", 28) = 28
> I can't see where this whois originates from, it has version number
> '5.2.<something>'. Its man page refers to RFC 3912, but RFC 3912 says
> nothing about -T.  RFC 3912's single example wouldn't have worked in
> this case. So I wonder what replaced RFC 3912, and why there's a
> mismatch between documentation and functionality.

RFC 3912 is still the current RFC for whois; it's not been replaced.

But there are two other related information systems, Rwhois (Referral 
whois, RFC1714, RFC2167) and whois++ (structured whois, RFC1835, 
RFC1913, RFC1914).  They're more sophisticated, of course, but I don't 
know of any real-life examples and references I've found suggest they 
were never deployed.

Rwhois runs on port 4321 by default and its syntax is nothing like that 
used by DENIC, while whois++ runs on port 63.  Being an extension to 
provide structured responses to a range of template-based queries (it 
too can perform recursive queries on behalf of a client, like rwhois), 
its syntax also looks nothing like normal whois or that used by DENIC.

However, one of the above-mentioned RFCs does comment, wrt whois, that 
"Unfortunately, these additions and extensions have been done in an ad 
hoc and uncoordinated manner."  Uh-huh :-)

Pete Turnbull

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