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During IETF 101 I wrote up the day's activity on the way home on the train, which worked really well. My vague plan of doing the same in Amsterdam might be less successful because it's less easy to hammer out notes while walking across the city.

Some semi-chronological notes ... I'm going to use the workshop programme as a starting point, but I'm not going to write particularly about the contents of the talks (see the workshop web site for that) but more about what I found relevant to me and the follow-up hallway discussions.


The first half of the morning was CENTR members only, so I went to get a few bits from the local supermarket via the "I Amsterdam" sign before heading to the conference hotel.

The second half of the morning was DNS-OARC business. It's a small organization that provides technical infrastructure, so most of the presentation time was about technical matters. The last sessopn before lunch was Matt Pounsett talking about sysadmin matters. He's impressively enthusiastic about cleaning up a mountain of technical debt. We had a chat at the evening social and I tried to convince him that Debian without systemd is much less painful than the Devuan he has been struggling with.

Jerry Lundstrom talked about his software development projects. A couple of these might be more useful to me than I was previously aware:

  • drool - DNS replay tool. I have a crappy dnsmirror script which I wrote after my previous test procedure failed to expose CVE-2018-5737 because I wasn't repeating queries.

    drool respdiff sounds like it might be a lot of what I need to automate my testing procedures between deploying to staging and production.

  • dnsjit - suite of DNS-related tools in Lua. If this has the right facilities then I might be able to delete the horrid DNS packet parsing code from doh101.

Cloudflare DoH and DoT

Ólafur Guðmundsson said a few noteworthy things:

  • Cloudflare's DoT implementation is built-in to Knot Resolver. They are heavy users of my qp trie data structure, and at the evening social Petr Špaček told me they are planning to merge the knot-reolver-specific fixes with my beer festival COW work.

  • Their DoH implementation uses Lua scripting in NGINX which sounds eerily familiar :-) (Oversimplifying to the point of being wrong, Cloudflare's web front end is basically OpenResty.)

  • He mentioned a problem with hitting quotas on the number of http2 channels opened by Firefox clients, which I need to double check.

  • Cloudflare are actively working on DoT for recursive to authoritative servers. Sadly, although the IETF DNS Privacy working group has been discussing this recently, there hasn't been much comment from people who are doing practical work. Cloudflare likes the advantages of holding persistent connections from their big resolvers to popular authoritative servers, which is basically optimizing for a more centralized web. It's the modern version of leased lines between mainframes.

I submitted my DoH / DoT lightning talk (2 slides!) to the program committee since it includes stuff which Ólafur didn't mention that is relevant to other recursive server operators.


I merged my revamped draft into Evan Hunt's aname repository and collaboration is happening. I've talked about it with at least one big DNS company who have old proprietary ANAME-like facilities, and they are keen to use standardization as a push towards removing unused features and cleaning up other technical debt. I've put some "mighty weasel words" in the draft, i.e. stealing the "as if" idea from C, with the idea that it gives implementers enough freedom to make meaningful zone file portability possible, provided the zone is only relying on some common subset of features.

Other small notes

Matt Larson (ICANN) - rollover was a "pleasant non-event"

  • several ICANN staff are at DNS-OARC, so they travelled to NL before the rollover, and used a conference room at NLnet Labs as an ad-hoc mission control room for the rollover

Matt Weinberg (Verisign) - bad trust anchor telemetry signal investigation - culprit was Monero! I wonder if this was what caused Cambridge's similar weirdness back in June.

Duane Wessels (Verisign) talked about abolishing cross-TLD glue. Gradually the registry data model becomes less insane! [fanf's rant censored]

Jaromír Talíř (CZ.NIC) on TLD algorithm rollovers. Don't fear ECDSA P256! I definitely want to do this for Cambridge's zones.

Bert Hubert (PowerDNS) talked about the DNS Camel and his Hello DNS effort to make the RFCs easier to understand. He's very pleased with the name compression logic he worked out for tdns, a teaching DNS server. I want to have a proper look at it...

Date: 2018-10-14 14:49 (UTC)
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From: [personal profile] mtbc
Thank you, much appreciated. Apart from init systems, I have wondered if some of my GUI issues arise from my not using a mainstream desktop environment.

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