When Ah were a lad
.COM was the file extension of CP/M program files, inherited by the various 16-bit workalikes and still with us in the one that survived. Any connection?
Mine's the one with the CP/M boot diskette in the pocket.
On April 26, 1985, a man called Charles Hornig complained on a mailing list that his new symbolics.com email address wasn't working. Scanning every mail server on the internet, all 1,008 of them, he discovered only one was configured to handle a .com address. “I am not heartened by these results,” he wrote. “Maybe we should go …
Introducing the generic .com was the dumbest thing ever done in the running of DNS. Imagine how much legal grief and user confusion would have been avoided if every country had been segregated into its own geographical domain.
At the very least, .com and the other non-country domains should be closed to new registrations as a minimal attempt to contain the mess. Anyone supporting the introduction of even more generic domains, like the moronic .info, should just be shot.
What about if your company is global in nature (Google, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, HSBC etc - ignore where head office is located) or if what you do/espouse/sell is legal but not appreciated by the Government in your jurisdiction (dissidents, people opposed to Stephen Conroy etc) and you do not therefore wish to be overseen by their influence of the relevant TLD? In that case a generic may do quite nicely.
"What about if your company is global in nature (Google, Microsoft, IBM, Salesforce, HSBC etc - ignore where head office is located)"
But it doesn't work like that...
Checking my local sites for those companies:
Google.com redirects to Google.com.hk
Microsoft.com.hk redirects to Microsoft.com
IBM.com.hk redirects to IBM.com
Salesforce.com.hk redirects to a (unrelated?) HK company, Salescatalysts.com
HKBC.com and HSBC.com.hk are separate sites, both run by HSBC
So, companies that are global in nature have to buy all the local domains, or risk their potential customers getting diverted.
What gets REALLY annoying is deliberately typing in the .com version of an address, getting redirected to the local site which displays in the local language that you don't understand (as opposed to the second official local language that you do understand).
It is a result of a combination of confusion:
1. "The Public" think website addresses start with http://www. and end with .com, anything else and you get asked "Do I need to add..."
2. Developers don't understand there is a difference between location and language (even when using GeoIP - when they are both just meaningless text to trigger a response in the user, see http://xkcd.com/713/)
Finally, marketers like the idea of having new TLDs to sell...
One problem is that if you have a .co.uk but you're bussiness or target market is global you don't appear in searchs from the U.S so readily. I've had several sites (services sites) that just weren't getting hits from the U.S. on a .co.uk but when I changed it to .net the traffic more than doubled very soon after.
"Fatal error: Call to undefined function mysql_connect() in C:\website\class\init.php on line 7"
Fail 1) They're using a Windows server
Fail 2) They didn't install the PHP MySQL connector
Still, the site has been registered and I suppose with Verisign, that's all that matters...
I remember wondering about the ".com" before ever wandering out to the Internet back in the day. For reasons that I don't recall now (and they probably weren't very clear then) I wondered what if any relation they had to .COM executables.
Yes, I know it sounds stupid. But there...I said it. Don't ask me why I thought the two had anything to do with one another. I just did.
Symbolics is not as defunct as you'd think (http://www.symbolics-dks.com/) and until recently they still held the rights to symbolics.com. Alas, they sold the rights to that domain name and don't control it any longer. Maybe they needed the money?
...when you want to buy locally or in a specific language, but the rest of the time it's a waste of time. One of the problems with the Internet is that nobody provided a comprehensive categorisation scheme. Even Usenet tried to do better than that. As Internet consumers should be dealing with a service oriented registry, including the service type, locality , language, etc not URLs, no matter what we are looking for.
At present it's like going to a library and having to ask somebody to physically search unclassified stacks to find the book you want. That would take a long time, so maybe he can come in at night and memorise where everything is. But that would be expensive. Oh, maybe he could do it for free if in the meantime you allowed him to pester you trying to sell stuff.
Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021