I believe this to be the strongest proposal for personal name space as it has a universal
naming convention that can include everyone in the world in the same structure.
proposed personal name format of firstname-middleinitial-lastname.NNNN.i where NNNN
is a number from 1 to 9999 has better coverage than the proposals for .NOM and .NAME
by many orders of magnitude. Their proposals can only get the necessary coverage
of popular names such as ‘John Smith’ by requiring users to use nicknames, fantasy
names, professions or a variety of confusing formats. These solutions trade off a
standardised format for the creation of attractive domain names. The few will
get an attractive domain name, the many will have to ‘make do’.
We need a single
format of address for everyone which has no implied hierarchy (ie no one address
is seen as significantly preferable to any other). I would therefore make the following
suggestions to Sarnoff Corp:-
1. Extending the number format
of the name should be firstname-middleinitial-lastname.NNNNNN.i allowing 1,000,000
people to share a common name rather than just 10,000. There are 12,000 John Smiths
in the UK and many times that number in the US. Middle initials are not evenly distributed
so it is certain that a five digit number will be insufficient. A 6 digit number
would allow for the future. Presumably if the John Smith who uses www.john-a-smith.73423.i
dies his address remains as a permanent tag for that individual and is never
2. Removing hierarchy
In a 1970’s comedy program called ‘Citizen Smith’,
Smith was talking in a pub to his friends about the new world following a popular
revolution in England. ‘Brothers’ he said ‘we will no longer have titles and names
that allow one man to be seen as superior to another – we will just have numbers’.
‘What number will you have’ asks his friend ‘Number one of course’ says Smith.
point here is that numbers do have their own magic, and www.john-a-smith.000001.i
would be seen as preferable to www.john-a-smith.734423.i. This is something to be
avoided. I would suggest then that certain numbers are not issued :-
below 100,000 (also has the benefit of reducing problems of people ignoring leading
All number with all repeating digits – 111111, 222222, etc
Numbers with two repeating triples - 372372, 592594, etc
go as far as you like with this, but the intention should be that no one number can
be perceived as being significantly better than any other number
3. Removing precedence
When John Smith applies for a personal address the number given to him in the
address should be randomly selected from within the number range. The fact that one
John Smith has a lower number in his address than another John Smith will not imply
that he was ‘online’ first, or that the other was an internet laggard.
I hope that
you find these suggestions useful and I wish you luck with your application.