by April 1, 1999 0 comments

Computers on the Internet identify each other by their IP
addresses like 209.194.84.59. But remembering numbers is a gift only few of us possess.
The way around has been names like pcquest.com.

The Internet is divided into a number of registries or top
level domains (TLDs). The sidebar lists the currently available top-level domains.
Additions to this list have been proposed and have been under active consideration for
some time now.

Internet naming conventions call for the type
of Website to be identified by the registry–the part after the dot in the
name. For example, sites that come under the .com registry are commercial
sites or sites belonging to commercial organizations. Similarly, .gov is
supposed to indicate government bodies and .org represents non-profit
organizations, societies, etc. But unfortunately, that’s not always the
case. The .com registry has been by far the most popular, and everybody seem
to opt for .com by default.

Take for example, Delhipolice.com!

Delhi Police, a business organization? Or is
there more to the name, than just a mistake? It’s not just the funny side.
The registries are an important pointer to people looking for particular
Websites. For example, anyone looking for PC Quest Website will
automatically look for pcquest.com and not pcquest.mil or pcquest.edu. Now
suppose someone is looking for the site of Reserve Bank of India. What are
the URLs that you would guess at? reservebank.gov or reserve bank.gov.in are
possible options that you would try. And you would not succeed in reaching
the Reserve Bank site. Yes. You have to try reservebank.com to get there.

Top-level
domains

Domain Indicates Example
com Commercial organizations pcquest.com
edu Educational institutions aiims.edu
mil (US) military nic.mil
gov (US) government nasa.gov
org Other organizations un.org
net Other networks usa.net
int International organizations tpc.int
in, fr, sk Country the site is registered in ernet.in

Guess the Website of the finance
ministry? And the Indian President? And the Indian Parliament? Yes. They all
have Websites. But you won’t find them at addresses you can easily guess.
The finance ministry is at (www.nic.in/finmin/), and
Rashtrapathi Bhavan is at (http:/alfa.nic.in/rb) but one has to go through
the Parliament’s site (http://alfa.nic.in/).

Why? What’s wrong with loksabha. gov.in? Or
finance.gov.in? Why hide these splendid sites in these strange
subdirectories at NIC? Do we have a paucity of names? Or are we ashamed of
announcing these to the world?

And, that’s not all. Look at the absurdly
long site addresses and e-mail addressees that we sport. Almost all e-mail
and ISP services in this country give you addresses that are a-half-mile
long. me@giasmdl01.vsnl.net.in! you@satyam. net.in! someone@somecompany.
sprintrpg.ems.vsnl.net.in! Give me a break. Why can’t we have short e-mail
addresses that are easy to remember? VSNL has finally woken up and have
started giving shortened vsnl.com addresses. What are the others waiting
for?

Are your site and e-mail addresses all right?
After all, others are going to use them to find you. If they can’t they
will take their business somewhere else, as if you never existed.

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