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           JPNIC Translated Document

Source document: jpnic/domain-name-guide.txt
Date of the source: February 1, 1993
Date of the last update of this translation: July 14, 1995

This is a translation of a JPNIC document. JPNIC provides this
translation for convenience of those who can not read Japanese. But it
may contain mis-tranlations, and is by no means official. One should
consult the source document written in Japanese for detail.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
        Guide to Organization Domain Name Selection

         Masaki Hirabaru
       (one of junet-admin)
         December 1, 1991
          February 1, 1993, revised

  This guide is based on the experiences of junet-admin which has kept
  contributing to registration of organization domain names for a long
  time from the inauguration of JUNET to the constitution of the Japan
  Domain Name Registration Committee for this time.

[ The Japan Domain Name Registration Committee was replaced by the Japan ]
[ Network Information Center and its domain name registration group.     ]

 A domain name indicates an organization, and there are many subjective
elements for the standard of selecting the name, so that contrary guiding
principles are described as they are in this guide.  Those who use this
guide should consider the situations of the concerning organization,
sense of values for applying the name, influence to the society, etc.
and use it as an aid to selecting the organization domain name.

1. Concept of Domain Name Selection

 A viewpoint of selecting the domain name is that a domain name belongs
to the organization which designates the domain name, therefore, the
organization can decide it freely.  For deciding a domain name, giving
a name to a child should be recollected as an analogy.
 The intent on the side of telling a name should be preceded most.

 A viewpoint contrary to the above is that the convenience of the people
of other organizations who use the domain name should be preceded, so
that the system of domain names should be easy to be understood and
that domain names should be beautiful.  Because a domain name is a name
and at the same time an address for E-mail, etc., many general users
may be disturbed by an ambiguous domain name.

 When uniformity as a whole is considered important, attaching -u to
a university and -it to an institute of technology, for example, is
easy to remember and prevents mistakes.  However, even if Japanese
names are identical, English names could be different in some cases.
Besides, some may consider that uniformity is not necessary and because
each organization is independent even if their names resemble each
other, categorization is not necessary and using an original domain
name is better.

 Each organization's attitude to its name and abbreviation and social
distinction should be considered to determine whether to put importance
on uniformity as a whole and formal name or to appeal the originality,
then a domain name should be decided as an intent of the organization.

2. Attribute and JP

 Select an attribute according to the definition.  When two or more
attributes seem to be applicable or when none of attributes seems to
be applicable, describe the organization accurately, and select a
desired attribute or an attribute that seems to be most appropriate.
In addition, judgment is made by juridical and constitutional
positioning, therefore, even a nonprofit stock company should belong
to CO.

 "XXX Company" that is included in the name is represented by CO, and
"Japan ..." is by JP, therefore, they need not be included in
<organization name>.

3. Abbreviation and Interference

 When a formal name is used as a domain name as it is, interferences
will hardly occur.  On the other hand, using an abbreviation may cause
an interference with other organization's name, or even if there is no
interference, may be very confusing in some cases.  Especially, companies
often use three-character abbreviations, so interferences of names are
apt to occur.  Besides, it may occur that an abbreviation of one
organization interferes with a formal name of the other.  Although there
is one standpoint that such confusion is not to be considered because
it is free for an organization to use any domain name, another viewpoint
is that using a domain name which may cause confusion with other names
is not advantageous to that organization, therefore, sufficient
consideration should be taken to use an abbreviation.

4. Agreement in Organization

 A formal name or abbreviation that has already been used should be
used rather than to create a new abbreviation in order to participate
in a network.  to select a new abbreviation or common name, examine
it carefully so that an agreement for the domain name is made in the
organization.

 Even if it is obliged to submit a change application because opposition
is raised in the organization after an informal common name is used
as a domain name, domain name change will cause troubles to many
people who use it and the network supervisor, therefore, a domain name
should not be changed without such proper reason as change of formal
organization name.  A domain name will be diffused on printed matter,
and the old domain name can be used for a long time even if it is
changed, therefore, basically the organization must be treated
exceptionally as using two or more domain names.

[ As for the change procedure, the period for exceptional treatment ]
[ is defined on the domain name registration document.              ]

5. Three Character Domain Name and Abbreviation

 When a domain name is an acronym formed from the initial letters of
an organization name, it is preferable that the acronym is used
externally as a formal name representing the organization.  For example,
it is preferable that the acronym is used on namecards, as an emblem,
and for publications, etc.  In addition, the fact that the acronym is
registered as a trademark can be one of the bases.

 As for a domain name for which a part of an organization name is
omitted, the above case of acronym is applied correspondingly for
consideration.  When the possibility of interference or misconception
with other organization names is low even if such omission is done,
it does not cause problem.

 Basically, when a new abbreviation is designed to participate in a
network, whether the abbreviation may pervade in and out of the
organization is a criterion for judgment.  An easygoing abbreviation
is not preferable.  As for an informal abbreviation without results of
being used, agreement in the organization and affection to the
abbreviation should be examined sufficiently.

6. Length of Domain Name

As to the specification, it does not matter if a domain name is
sufficiently long.  A domain name that is spelled out completely is
easier to remember than a partly omitted domain name and input mistake
is hard to occur.  By fulfilling the alias and domain name completion
function, directory service, etc., technical solution will be made on
the side of user interface.

 Actually, it is written on RFC1032 that the <organization name> in a
domain name is preferably twelve characters or less.  This may be
because of the consideration that the work of supervisor who handles
the domain name becomes easy.  Besides, it should be noted that a
domain name which is extremely long could be subjected to restrictions
of implementation for an operating system or network application.
For example, the length of a host name should be 32 characters or less
for some UNIX implementation, therefore, when a host name is set by
domain format, an extremely long organization domain name would restrain
the length of a sub-domain of the organization or a host name.  In
addition, for entering a E-mail address on a general application form,
restrictions may often apply to the entry column as common restrictions
apply to a name entry column.

 A list of organization domain names is available, so please select
a domain name with originality which is easy for people of other
organizations to be familiar with, by referring to examples of other
organizations.

7. Area Name

 Schools often have each area name, therefore, there are examples of
adopting an area name itself as a domain name without attaching -u
which represents a university.  In this case, pay attention to
similarity to other schools which applied an area name in the same way.

 There is an example of applying an area name to local public bodies
and subordinate organizations that belong to GO.  In this case, the
domain name is recognized as involving all subordinate organizations of
the local public bodies in that area.

8. Japanese Name

 If a domain name is spelled in Roman letters based on a Japanese name,
it might be familiar domestically, however, an English name can get
along well considering the network internationalism.  Also, a mistake
is apt to occur in writing an address in Roman letters when it includes
sound which is spelled differently in Hepburnian and instruction systems.
Of course, when a Japanese name is to be used internationally, the
intent must be esteemed.

9. Hyphenation and Upper Case

 To use a domain name composed of two or more words, in general, either
delimit them using a hyphen ("-") or use a upper case for the initial
letter of each word.  There is no distinction between upper and lower
cases for a domain name, and it does not matter if a person who uses it
represents the initial letter in upper case and other letters in lower
cases.  An underscore ("_") cannot be included in a domain name.

10. Zone

 Those who make application should clarify the zone in which the
applied domain name is or may be used.  This zone is an organization
described here.  For example, when a research department of a company
is to participate in a network, if a domain name representing the
whole company is applied, the organization that applies is not the
research office but the company itself, and the person who makes
application is responsible for the use of the domain name in the zone
of the whole company.

 Educational organizations, corporations, etc. are proper as zones
from a social viewpoint.  Also, corporation groups connected by a
single management body such as closely related company groups may be
considered as a zone.

11. Precautions

 It was not a few that two or more domain names were applied by the
same organization.  When a domain name was obtained, notify it to the
related departments in the organization, and it should be considered
that the Japan Domain Name Registration Committee and the Japan Network
Information Center (JPNIC) need not be a liaison in the organization.

 Those <ORGANIZATION names> identical to mail domains such as BITNET,
UUCP, CSNET and FIDONET, and top domains registered in domain name
systems such as EDU and COM, have already been reserved by the Japan
Domain Name Registration Committee, so that general application including
these <ORGANIZATION names> cannot be accepted.  This is one of technical
restrictions owing to the historical circumstances of using omissions
in JUNET.
            

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