Twenty-five years ago somebody registered the first .uk domain name, and now Nominet, the .uk registry manager, wants to know what that domain was. Speaking at the organisation's annual registrars' meeting at the Science Museum in London on Thursday, Nominet director of marketing Phil Kingsland appealed for information about the …
Bit Daily Mail
"Nominet forgets what the first .uk domain name was"
...does not equal...
"Nominet was not created until 1996 ... by then there were already 26,000 .uk domains, so records prior to that date are incomplete"
Re: Bit Daily Mail
It's tongue-in-cheek. Have you been here before?
First .uk domain I accessed the net from wasn't .uk. It was in JANET form, starting with uk.ac. Switched to [....].ac.uk in about 1991.
Before that, forms of address were provider-specific. I recollect in the late '80s - when networks ran on infrastructure like 'prestel' and 'telecom gold' - an address in telex form for my online self.
... a brief comment given by Tim Berners-Lee when he spoke to a group of us staff at University of Leeds back in 1994/5 that he would have prefered the WWW naming convention to be like JANET, but since the Internet naming conventions had been shaken out by the time WWW hit the wires it was left following the whatever.co.uk model. There was a transition time from one to other, but by the time JANET had become SuperJANET the uni's were on .ac.uk.
Lost in translation
I remember when the conventions were in the process of being changed. The translation was ambiguous if the subdomain was also a valid country code. On at least one occasion my email to the Eurotra project (tld.blah.et, JANET style) ended up being routed to Ethiopia. The solution was to spend a day calculating a BitNet bang path -- which routed the email along a manually determined path through mutually accessible servers -- and hope none of the individual links were down. Lovely. Perhaps this is one reason why two letter subdomains later came to be discouraged.
when my email address was firstname.lastname@example.org ;)
We were not around
To be honest, i dont have much faith in Nominet and why is dealing with .uk names a pain in the ass compared to .com's etc ?
Even if they were around when the first name was registered i am quite sure they would have lost the paperwork years ago.
perhaps it was
" that the country was assigned .uk, rather than the .gb " - No, two TLDs were assigned to Blightly - .gb and .uk. .uk was a mistake because it was derived from the earlier JANET system. .gb was still created at the same time, but sadly fell into disuse. It would be nice to have a specific timeline, but I have not found one, yet.
bash-3.2# nslookup hermes.dra.hmg.gb
Using /etc/hosts on: y7-059
looking up FILES
@Pirate Peter - no irony. Nominet wasn't set up until 1996, so there is no chance that their domain was first (although the WHOIS does list it as a pre-Nominet name).
@Martyns - two letter domains have been treated differently to number-letter or letter-number ever since, so O2.co.uk is different to mw.co.uk. Nominet are only now releasing the two letter domains.
As for using ISO codes, that was Jon Postel (as IANA) trying to avoid politics and ICANN has stuck with that. UK would normally go to Ukraine, I think. .gb is still around (registered to UKERNA) as security.
It won't seem so logical if you read the article.
nic.uk should have been first, one would assume
My guess would go for nic.uk.
Registered on: before Aug-1996
Last updated: 16-Nov-2004
If you fancy a laugh, take a look at nic.ie
GB makes so much more sense than UK
When the House Of Windsor is finally made redundant* there will no longer be a kingdom, united or otherwise. It therefore makes good sense to use GB. Britain already uses GB for major sporting events such as the Olympics.
*It could be successfully argued that it already is.
The title is required, and must contain letters and/or digits.
Don't be silly.
The royal Family bring BILLIONS of pounds worth of tourism to this country every year. Outstripping what they 'cost' the taxpayer by an order of magnitude.
What the hell else is there for dumb tourists to come to the UK for to gawp at? The weather?
Get rid of the Royal Family, and this country would be truly fucked. It's not like we actually export anything* anymore is it?
* In Significant quantities
Comic Book Man
Worst. Comment thread. Ever.
PIPEX and/or Demon
Shirley ... Unless I missed one in the late '80's or early '90s BIND rush ;-)
..wait for it...
"It's well-known that the first .com domain was symbolics.com, originally registered to a now-defunct Lisp computer maker in March 1985, but less information is available about the origins of .uk."
...I think somebody's talking symbolics....
There had to be a symbolic link
MoD or UCL
I believe .uk was the third top level domain to be established after .edu and .us. This predated dns and would have been in 1982 or 3.
.uk was run with a hosts.txt file and the first sub-domains being either ucl or mod.
dns came in in 85 or 86 and the first sub-domains in that were copied from the UK NRS from the X.25 world (ac.uk, co.uk and mod.uk) so there probably wasn't a first dns sub-domain for uk.
This work was done by UCL CS and at least 2 people directly involved are still there.
What about .oz?
Reading these comments has reminded me about the death of ".oz"
And I thought I'd let that pain pass years ago......
so much bollocks, so little time
Domain names started in the UK long before Nominet or the Naming Committee which spawned it.
DNS names in the UK were originally handled by GBnet, the ISP which had its orgins in the UKnet UUCP business which was spun out from the University of Kent.
And prior to that, there was a UK domain name space which didn't use the DNS at all. It hadn't been invented then. The earliest UK domain names were in the NRS which was run from the University of Salford. It had uk.ac for academics and uk.co for commerce. The NRS name space was imported into the .uk DNS name space until everyone saw the light and Internet protocols prevailed. Then this Naming Committee was set upand Nominet was formed.
Amid other bollocks posted here is the same old shite about Ukraine and UK. There has never been an issue here. The 2 letter ISO code for Ukraine has existed for as long as the UK's ISO code. ISO gave them UA and us GB. They didn't care about the 2 letter string UK, probably because the ISO list preceded the invention of the computer. Even if the ISO list only started 20-30 years ago, ISO still would not have cared about computer networking or allowed that to influence their decisions. This explains why CS has returned 10-15 years after it went away when Checkoslovakia split.
Re: so much bollocks, so little time
"... the same old shite about Ukraine and UK. There has never been an issue here. [Ukraine] didn't care about the 2 letter string UK, probably because the ISO list preceded the invention of the computer."
Or perhaps because they use Cyrillic script and there is probably *no* pair of Latin letters that does their country name justice.
What is and what is not the UK
This is always handy to work out the uk
To answer the question.
Do any Reg readers know what the first .uk domain was?
conjecture is so much more fun than plain, dry facts.
LOL, silly Britons
You twits are more concerned about the country code than the fact that all records of your internet history ARE LOST!!
not lost ...
... they're on a train somewhere
No, not lost...
We just put them down somewhere and can't put our hands on them at the moment.
@MoD or UCL
As a young student at UCL 25years ago I was sent to the computer centre to find somebody to get our department's new Sun3 hooked up to this Janet stuff.
I forgot his name, but it was explained to me - just go and find the guy with the white beard and sandals = not the most useful description for the UCL computer centre back then.
We have a winner!
I just dug a routing table out of my archives ... dated March 5th, 1982 (very early on in TCP/IP time, there are fewer that 40 nodes total listed!) ... Shows UCL at 220.127.116.11, with UCLNET behind it, listed as 18.104.22.168, and no other direct-to-GB links. Granted, this was before DNS (or even HOSTS, if I remember correctly; most of us used Jon Postel's list for connectivity (RIP, Jon)) ... But I think it's safe to make the assumption.
Australia used the wrong domain name too, but shifted.
When I first started using the net in Australia (late 80s) most traffic to and from Australia used the store and forward network ACSNet. At that time, Australia used the top level domain .oz, although the correct ISO 3166 code is .au . When Australia got a more full time connection to the internet (AARNet) in 1989, we switched over to the ISO 3166 code .au, and the existing domains became second level domains within this, so (for instance) uow.oz became uow.oz.au, and other second level domains were set up alongside this. Many sites used two names alongside one another for a while (so uow.edu.au and uow.oz.au would both work) and in most instances the .oz.au domains were eventually dropped. There are still a few in use though - for instance www.cs.mu.oz.au gets you the Computer Science department at the University of Melbourne, who were the people who put most of this together in the first place.
British e-mail addresses were once the other way round to the rest of the world, too (so, for instance email@example.com would have been correct), but that is a different story.
Surely a safe guess.
this was at least 8 years after the first DN, so nu puoints for that one, greg the guy who has it now has got some amazing generics and drops though! :-)
When is a UK not equal to a GB
It all boils down to terminology.
GB = Scotland England and Wales
The main island landmass as a geographic and political entity.
UK = GB + Northern Ireland
The main island plus northern island, so its a POLITICAL entity.
The BRITISH ISLANDS = UK + Isle of Man and the Channel islands
The BRITISH ISLES = GB + the islands + the entire IRISH Island (Eire and Northern ireland)
Thats a Geographic Entity.
Paris - because ..well just because
how can they not know?
Surely their only purpose is to keep records? If they've not done that then how can they settle disputes about ownership of domains?
If they don't know then shut 'em down and give the job to someone who owns a filing cabinet.
The Janet format "firstname.lastname@example.org" makes a lot more sense if you are writing a router - you just keep matching parts of the name with your local name until something doesn't fit.
One of the reasons that 2 letter domains weren't allowed (along with domains beginning with a number) was that when DNS came along there were a lot of bits of hacked together scripts trying to guess which way round your address was and how to translate it to the other format
If the ISO country code is "gb" instead of "uk" on the basis that "United Kingdom" is a generic form of government designator, like "Republic", then why is it that the country code for the United States of America is "us" instead of "am"?
That designation would make more sense than designating the United Kingdom as .gb, because Brazil was once (it isn't now) Los Estados Unidos do Brasil, on the one hand, while no one else is a United Kingdom, and, on the other hand, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland definitely includes a place that isn't part of Great Britain, it is only the Americas, and not America, that is bigger than the United States of America.
However, I am forgetting one thing. While the distinction between "the Americas" and "America" is hard and fast and utterly ambiguous in English, in the Romance languages it is nonexistent. And, of course, ISO is an international organization. So I can see why they would strongly resist .am while not caring about .gb .
So much history lost in time
The uk was used in uucp bang addresses so I expect a quick look at a historical uucp map might let you know which address was first. I think the universities were first with to use .uk but the first co.uk might be a English branch of a American company.
Mines the one with .oz email address in the pocket.
Surely when the system was tested...
The first domains setup would have been along the lines
several tests later...
ok, I need a new joke book this christmas.
How about i.soiam.ni
Who cares what the ISO says? :)
.uk is far more recognisable than .gb, which could be Gibraltar or Gabon
Ireland got stuck with .ie / IE which is only correct in French!
EI would have made more sense *EI*re as per the aircraft call signs.
It was probably cs.ucl.ac.uk
Seeing as the first ARPAnet node in the UK was based in the basement of the Computer Science department at UCL, this was probably the first to get a DNS entry.
From what I remember being told in the late 80s, it was in a secure location as ARPAnet at that time was still a secure network, at least for nodes outside the USA.
One domain only
I was chatting to Nominet CEO about this very question at the Parliament and Internet conference recently. What is amazing is that you were only allowed one domain name in those days and it had to be submitted before a committee before being approved!
More here http://www.trefor.net/2010/10/26/25-years-of-co-uk/
most likely one thats still well known
given that in the 'big change' we lost the chance of ever having a TLD .uk address like the rest of the world has....ie all names must be a sub-realm of .ac.uk, .co.uk, .org.uk etc then I'd say its a fair change that one of the early prehistoric .uk was the first... eg
there are only about 6 such domains
This whole UK/GB debate reminds me of the finlands countre sticker for cars which used to be for years SF, from Suomi Finland. Some wise asses claimed it was for Soviet Finland. Nowadays its FIN, even tho there is no risk for it being mistaken for Soviet. Not even a token respect for the finnish language.
On the bright side, nowadays wiseasses say it's for the dumb swedish toll officers. Now they know where the car ends.
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