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Username: timoldham
Date/Time: Wed, November 1, 2000 at 11:45 AM GMT
Browser: Netscape Communicator V4.75 using Windows 95
Score: 5
Subject: Directory vendor as .dir authority?


Although Novell has a stated policy of using open standards to enforce interoperability in the .dir TLD, and Novell has had a (recently) good record on standards definition and implementation, I cannot help but ask whether it is in the best interests of the Internet community to have a for-profit directory products vendor as the authority over .dir. Of course, it can be claimed that expansion of the entire directory-enablement space is in Novell's interests, I would draw analogies: I would not want Cisco as the authority for registered numbers, and I would not want WalMart as the authority for .shop.

Some of the statements made by Novell when asked how they serve the Internet community are a little questionable. I do not quite believe that they see themselves as existing to serve the community, as they want us to think.

Compaq's statement supporting Novell is helpful in that it provides some independent support for their application; Compaq have obviously been historically aligned with Microsoft and therefore Active Directory, so their support for Novell clearly shows that they believe Novell will act in good faith. For me, however, I would seek some kind of independent mechanism to ensure that Novell's authority is subject to some constraint and cannot be wielded for Novell's pure commercial benefit.



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