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back to article The amazing .uk domain: Less .co and loads more whalesong

If you're a Brit "at the forefront of the contemporary online landscape", then you've doubtless already eyed the .uk domain - the "short and sharp" dot thingy for "fearless, modern, digital natives", set to launch on 10 June. Make no mistake, this isn't just a cynical way of ditching the .co and charging you for the privilege, . …

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The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

Not at all. To me, the colour represents slavish and unthinking adherence to Microsoft aesthetic standards.

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Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

s'funny. It screamed CYANOGENMOD booting up to me!

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Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

Fair point. Although I had a go at Microsoft, it's really the general push towards the use of washed-out pastel colours which has made UIs so boring and ineffective that I'm griping about. Whatever happened to standing out to get yourself noticed?

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Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

Microsoft have bright primary coloured branding (indeed, many complain vociferously about their Fisher-Price colour schemes). While "muted brights" are certainly a fashionable branding trend, I disagree that MS are in any way relevant to this criticism.

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Trollface

Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

is it my dyslexic imagination or am i the only one to see an "f" letter in the white space on the left side of the circle?.... that means the logo is saying "fuk". LOL

/lol

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Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

Looks like someome has stumbled upon this old gem...

http://www.1728.org/buzzword.htm

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Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

To my mind this isn't a pastel colour -- looks like pure cyan to me (no I haven't been bothered to colour pick it!), which is a secondary colour (or primary colour of inks, no matter what your art teacher says)! Fully saturated. This would make it similar to the new styles of iOS7 and Windows 8, but the whole cyan circle is definitely cyanogenmod!

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@J.R.Hartley:

Oww! those buzzwords hurt. Although, I think I may have a use for "Organic user-facing info-mediaries" in the near future.. mainly next time I have to deal with a Hell Desk.

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Mushroom

Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

ITS JUST F*#&(NG BLUUUUUUE!!!!!!

<puts tinfoil hat back on>

ok, time to up the meds again.

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Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

Its you.

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Boffin

Re: The colour represents self expression, new thinking, and new horizons.

Blue is actually the best colour for any screen-based user interface because it is easier on the eye than any other colour. Green is a bit icky and a bit unprofessional, red is too tabloid*, purple is too medical, yellow and orange just look terrible, black with white text is difficult to read, and nobody could ever like brown. That's why Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and a million other companies use blue: it just looks best.

*El Reg uses red as a deliberate parody of tabloids.

Icon is blue.

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Protection racket

"Say, that's a nice .co.uk* domain name you've got there. We've just launched .uk* domain names. It would be a real shame if someone unscrupulous were to register your domain name co.uk name...."

*Replace domain names with any of the recent new TLDs.

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(Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Protection racket

Yup, that's about the size of it.

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That settles that then

I just looked at the paradigm-busting new .uk logo which appeals to a new, tech-savvy audience. I failed the test.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: That settles that then

Sounds like people with too much money and just busy finding things to do (to spend it). Perhaps spend on what the membership and registrants really care about.

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Finally catching up?

Right. A single tld instead of those co or org additions. Like (most of) the rest of the world. Why the fuss?

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Re: Finally catching up?

Because of what A Non e-mouse said up above. It is going to cause trouble and grief for a lot of businesses who will need to buy a second domain, and perhaps not have it available.

That said, yes the rest of the world has been using straight up tlds since the beginning. And yes, it is too bad that the .uk folks were too clever by half back then. It is also too bad that they are even less clever now.

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Re: Finally catching up?

"And yes, it is too bad that the .uk folks were too clever by half back then. It is also too bad that they are even less clever now."

Which "back then" are you talking about? The one where .uk domains were available, or the later one where they were not but people like police.uk still had them?

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Re: Finally catching up?

We can now all be as cool and paradigm busting as the British Library! How did they get bl.uk ?

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Re: Finally catching up?

@Lusty: Perhaps I'm showing my ignorance. Since as long as I can remember, all I've seen are .co.uk. I don't live in the UK, so I have rarely seen the government use like police.uk although I am aware of them. In any case, it seems odd that the registrar wouldn't allow .uk for anybody in the UK that wanted it. Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't they make that decision near (or at) the beginning?

I suppose I could search the net before I ask this, but what was the original thinking on this? Was it some kind of attempt to display a hierarchy? What did they hope to achieve?

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Re: Finally catching up?

the rest of the world has been using straight up tlds

"rest of the world" as in USA, you mean? There are other countries with .country TLDs that are split into second-level domains. For example, .gouv.fr , com.br, etc.

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Re: Finally catching up?

what was the original thinking on this

The US registrars chose TLDs like .edu, .com, .gov, leaving such "generic" names unavailable for wider use, so the UK had to go to second-level ones to get the same flexibility. For the three mentioned, for example, it uses .ac.uk (ACademic), .co.uk and .gov.uk. Some other countries follow a similar pattern.

Personally I get irritated by the muppets in intermal IT, which in the company where I cirrently work have decided that that local office nets will be xxx.uk.company.com, xxx.us.company.com, xxx.fr.company.com, etc. which means that internal addresses which use .uk or .de etc always have to be fully qualified. If they'd picked things like ".france" or ".germany" it would have worked better.

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Re: Finally catching up?

@Benchops: British Leyland went bust years ago, so there was no competition.

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Boffin

Re: Finally catching up?

Active Directory and DNS domain name design is something of an acquired skill (or subject to a LOT of best-practice reading online beforehand!) in order to make it work well in a large multi-domain environment.

A suggestion to ease your need to fully-qualify hostnames: I think some careful use of DNS Search Lists on the clients might ease your problems. Adding "<localcc>.company.com" first will allow you to use single hostnames local to each country, and putting "company.com" might then allow you to use "xxx.cc" for any others?

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Re: Finally catching up?

Because bl.uk started off many moons ago as the JANET NRS name UK.BL, back in the day when organisations that were considered to be neither commercial (UK.CO...) nor academic (UK.AC...) simply got NRS names of the form UK.<name>.

Of course this was before org.uk or gov.uk (or even their short-lived predecessors orgn.uk or govt.uk) were invented...

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Unhappy

Re: Finally catching up?

{second-level domains. For example, .gouv.fr }

No, France doesn't use second-level domains.

Yer actual government is at http://www.gouvernement.fr, their version of gov.uk (sorry, GOV.UK) is http://www.service-public.fr, whilst the country has it's very own website at http://www.france.fr.

If you want to find out about luxury powerhouse Louis Vuitton.Moet Hennessy then that's here: http://www.lvmh.fr whilst soon-to-be-American Alstom is at http://www.alstom.fr (Yes I know, it redirects...)

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Re: Finally catching up?

No, France doesn't use second-level domains.

it does, there are six main ones:

.asso.fr, the equivalent of .org.uk

.com.fr, equivalent to .co.uk

.gouv.fr, equivalent to .gov.uk (for example, to pay your taxes, you go to http://www.impots.gouv.fr/ )

.tm.fr, for trademarks

and s0me less-used ones:

.nom.fr

.prd.fr

.presse.fr

and others that are used at local government level.

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Big Brother

Meanwhile...

..all the cool kids are getting .io domain names, right?

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Re: Meanwhile...

Small island off the damp corner or Europe or a Jovian moon. Surely anyone would choose .io in that scenario.

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Re: Meanwhile...

Nope. Thay're getting .innit names

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Coffee/keyboard

Oh dear....

...just been a little bit sick.

Come the revolution, marketeers and patent lawyers 1st.

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Backwards?

Generally, anti-clockwise symbolises going backwards, so if according to them, they are starting from the dot....they are taking backwards steps in innovation etc?

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Anonymous Coward

ukumbaya.....ukumbaya....

WoooOOooOoooOooooooo!

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Where's the 'B' Ark when you need it?

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Anonymous Coward

Sadly, the more useful stuff never gets the funding.

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Alien

Where do you think our current governments came from?

My theory is that the Roswell incident was just another B-Ark crashing to earth, and to cover it up, the government decided to give them all government and PR jobs since there is no better way of hiding evidence than placing a thousand bureaucrats in the way.

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Unhappy

um...

I think we're on it, and I can't find my towel.

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Anonymous Coward

Its a 'journey'

If you have to deploy the 'J' word, you really are heading downhill fast...

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Vic
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Joke

Re: Its a 'journey'

> If you have to deploy the 'J' word, you really are heading downhill fast...

"Life is a journey. End it".

Vic.

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That video

"Different domains with different personalities" FFS

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Re: That video

"Different domains with different personalities"

Yup, why pay once to have a site designed?

You need mulitple sites -- not a single page with options.

Is Martha Lane Fox involved in this?

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Anonymous Coward

y.uk

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WTF?

Ok, I see how different ".com" / ".org" / ".net" domains might have seemed like a good idea at the beginning, in the times of keymaster/gatekeeper/there.is.only.usa - but by the time everyone else was getting on board, I just don't understand why anyone would insist on such an artificial distinction? Straight country-based TLDs are working wonderfully fine in my opinion - whether I'm looking for Coca-Cola or the Anvil Shooting Club of Bwlch, the last thing I want to do is wonder which one of the above TLDs they might use! How did this whole "co.uk only" malarkey come to pass? It's an honest question...

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Because it seemed sensible at the time to create a hierarchical namespace for country code tlds, so split up the namespace by organisation type, and delegate responsibility for some second level domains like .sch.uk. The current mess is what happens when a system is not enforced (you're not a charity/non-profit/etc, so you can't have the .org.uk) and is allowed to evolve for twenty years.

In hindsight we found out that people just registered their names in all namespaces to protect them. Nobody uses .ltd.uk or .plc.uk either. Nominet was stupid and didn't do geographical second level domains either (.ldn.uk, .man.uk, etc), and now we have .london because ICANN opened that can of worms up too.

So ... designed in good faith by technical people who didn't take reality into account, not taken to the logical conclusion of said design by the entities managing the namespace, and then abused by marketing/sales/etc regardless.

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the intermediate level is useful

In British system the usage is clear, for example www.birmingham.ac,uk and www.birmingham.gov.uk. Without the intermediate level you have to express the same information in an ad hoc way, for example

www.tu-darmstadt.de and however they name their local authorities.

It would be much better if we introduced new intermediate level domain names for each of the things for which there is some regulatory authority, eg lloyds.bank.uk or smithbrown.law.uk, to go with .ac.uk .gov.uk .nhs.uk .sch.uk etc.

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Re: the intermediate level is useful

Lloyds.bank.uk and ilk - you're approaching this as an engineer, you forget the twats over in marketing are the ones running the show.

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Welcome to

y.uk

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Just another American mess

A long time ago I asked why the US domains did not end in .us like all the other countries in the world had their .cc extension. The answer was for the same reason that British stamps do not declare themselves to be British like all other countries stamps declare their country: because they invented it.

So .com, .org made sense in the beginning because there was an implied (.us) at the end. When the net rolled out globally it made sense to launch the .cc domains to differentiate. Unfortunately Versign in their greed opened up the domains under their control to world+dog+spammer, resulting in a mess.

Here in South Africa we have .co.za. .org.za etc, all nicely differentiated. No one is pressured to buy the matching .org.za for their .co.za because firstly it's not necessary and secondly would probably not be allowed if you were not a non-profit.

The moves by ICANN and assorted stupid evil registrars around the world to increase chaos into the system by adding spaghetti naming schemes is as pointed out above, nothing but extortion similar to the Chinese scammers telling me someone wants to register mydomain.com.cn and do I want to buy it at an inflated price?

We've got similar schemes running here (.africa, anyone?) which are just as ridiculous and confusing.

I know some countries (notably Germany) did not initially nicely break up their name space, but I think they are moving in that direction now.

I also think that the US should enforce the .us on all their domains. Clearly there are too many candidates globally for every business wanting .com to fit in.

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Re: Just another American mess

There is a perfectly valid .us domain. The reason nobody uses it is, American companies are divided into two types: the kind that does business in as many countries as they possibly can, and the kind that doesn't acknowledge that any other country actually exists. Neither of these categories is likely to choose a '.us' domain, when '.com' is there for the taking.

Thus, the '.us' domain has become a cybersquatter's ghetto. Domains like 'pepsi.us' and 'disney.us' are registered by the sorts of people I won't endanger my legal status by describing. And the companies you might expect to care - don't, because who's ever going to look at them anyway?

Which gives us the best clue as to how to handle this idiocy: ignore it. If we all just carry on as we are, then nearly all companies - the exceptions being the richest, best-able-to-afford-it - can just ignore the new structure, continue advertising and using .co.uk, and we'll all be happy.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just another American mess

I wanted to buy a ".us" domain last year, the intention being to have "<familyname>.us" (as in us you-and-me, not USA), but I couldn't because the registrar claimed you needed an American address in order to register the domain. So I got a ".me.uk" domain instead.

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