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RE: editfiles methodology question

From: David Masterson
Subject: RE: editfiles methodology question
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2005 11:07:36 -0800

Mark Burgess wrote:
> On Sun, 2005-11-06 at 14:47 -0800, David Masterson wrote:
>> Mark Burgess wrote:
>>>> Regarding short_hostname, on my system '/bin/hostname' returns the
>>>> FQDN. If I try using $(host), I just get the FQDN. Is that normal?
>>>> That's why I'm using my own variable.
>>> This is normal if you have fully qualified names returned by your
>>> hostname lookup, which is not something I recommend.
>> There is a discussion going on here about the merits of FQDN vs.
>> simple hostname.  Would you care to elaborate on your reasons for
>> not recommending FQDN in hostname lookup? 
> Just as a matter of principle that you don't mix different kinds of
> information. It is the principle of "normalization" or "normal forms"
> in database theory.  The hostname is one item of information, the
> domain name is another. You should be able to change and manage them
> independently of one another. If you always store the domain name as
> the host identity then you have made it very hard to separate those
> two pieces of information, and have made relative information
> absolute. 
> It is also possible to record information that is incorrect and does
> not match information in DNS this way. Again. normalization says this
> is a bad idea.

Hmm.  I'm in the simple hostname camp, but IT is more in the FQDN camp.  I
need to bring your explanation down a little -- can you give an example of
where FQDN caused problems?  Is it just an esoteric "ease of use" issue or
does it have consequences?

Consider establishing a company policy where all NIS servers are "nis[0-9]".
At the company level, these systems have an FQDN of "nis[0-9]".
However, group NIS servers have an FQDN of "nis[0-9]" (where y is the
group).  Obviously, you could have multiple "nis1" hosts in your
organization.  Is this a good company policy?

David Masterson
VMware, Inc.
Palo Alto, CA

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