gethostby* users

Topher javert42 at
Sun Oct 14 21:15:52 UTC 2007

Ulrich Drepper wrote:
> Les Mikesell wrote:
>> But, if they
>> resort the list, half of them will pick the wrong first choice even when
>> it is reachable.
> No.  The sorting performed is not a universal and complete ordering.
> For once, it depends on the addresses of the client machines.  Second,
> if all target addresses are equally "bad" (i.e., for IPv4, all have the
> same matching prefix length) the sorting will not change the order in
> which the entries are returned.  Hence the RR DNS will not lose its effect.

This debate has splintered a bit on the list, but it seems to me that
everybody's concern has to do with this unfamiliar sorting algorithm.
Am I right, or does somebody have another concern, unrelated to the
sorting algorithm?

Ulrich's last comment made me think that DNS results will be sorted a
lot less than people seem to think.  It also seems that the biggest
cause of this whole misunderstanding is that Ulrich appears to be the
only one who understands when and how this mysterious sorting algorithm
is applied.

Ulrich: Is there a clear spec that outlines the behavior of this
function, or will we just have to go examine the source code?  I think
that if we all had a more realistic and concrete idea about how this
function performs, that we'd all sleep better tonight. :)

I'm sorry if I've made any bad assumptions or generalizations in this
email.  This is just based on my personal point-of-view.

Topher Fischer
GnuPG Fingerprint: 3597 1B8D C7A5 C5AF 2E19  EFF5 2FC3 BE99 D123 6674
javert42 at |

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