Skip to Content.
Sympa Menu

isn-discuss - [isn-discuss] Re: Interesting uses for isn

Subject: Discussion List for Freenum/ITAD Subscriber Number (ISN) Project

List archive

[isn-discuss] Re: Interesting uses for isn

Chronological Thread 
  • From: John Todd <>
  • To:
  • Subject: [isn-discuss] Re: Interesting uses for isn
  • Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 13:49:21 -0800

I agree with Peter that a "white pages" is needed. There is actually someone working on this right now, with an AJAX directory structure that will take partial or fully qualified substrings and present a reasonable directory reply. Hopefully we'll be able to make this into a small widget that can be embedded easily into other pages.

At 4:01 PM -0500 2007/11/29, John R Covert wrote:

Well, of course it was intended for inter- not just intra-company
communications, including international.

And I agree that making it useful has been a bit of a problem.
We have people whose gateways not yet fully installed or are very
experimental and thus not very reliable. We also have the problem
that it's not clear what format to dial for the extension -- do you
dial 3, 4, 5 digits for an extension, or the full local or national
or even international number? No standards exist, and maybe they
shouldn't be required.

The intention was that extensions were completely open to the local administrator for (almost) as many or as few (=>1) digits as they wished. This is because currently there are no standards within PBX systems as far as digit length dialing, and it seems unnecessary to enforce some type of localized digit length. If your current phone system uses 5 digit dialing, then instead of coming up with a new plan, why not just use that 5 digit dialing pattern? If you don't use internal extensions but instead use fully-qualified E.164 numbers, then feel free to use that as well though of course that is a bit unwieldy.

I'd propose two things:
1. a standard TXT entry in each ITAD's entry which
points to a web directory of some sort giving information.

Already there, almost. :-)

This isn't widely publicized yet, but there are meta-data in the DNS records already for each ITAD. For instance, this is the meta-data for my ITAD (256):

o IN TXT "Hyjynx Technology Systems, Inc."
street IN TXT "14625 Baltimore Avenue, PMB 170"
localityName IN TXT "Laurel"
stateOrProvince IN TXT "MD"
postalCode IN TXT "20707"
friendlyCountryName IN TXT "United States"
tz IN TXT "UTC-0800"
friendlyTimezone IN TXT "US/Pacific"
lang IN TXT "en"
friendlyLanguage IN TXT "English"
email IN TXT

So you get this on a dig:

asterisk]# dig +short TXT
"Hyjynx Technology Systems, Inc."

We currently have a field that can be edited by the administrator of each ITAD called "Directory URL", and we also have a larger free-form field called "Number format". Both of these could easily be integrated in the same way as TXT records. Please take a look at your ITAD settings page on the site for these fields.

Any suggestions as to what the identifier should be called? I suspect it will be difficult, if not impossible, to make a machine readable version of "Number format" since REGEXPs are overkill and frankly nobody will update them, given my experience with everything else in the database.

2. the standard that the "0" extension always gets you to some
sort of informational message about what to dial, or to an
IVR of some sort, or to a human attendant.

A "Best Common Practices" set of extensions is indeed something that has been mentioned in the past. Much like "postmaster", "webmaster", etc. have from RFC2142 ( However, it is highly advised to avoid region-specific assumptions. RFC2142 is biased towards English, which is a significant downside to that RFC, IMO. We have the luxury of being numeric-only, but I'd hate to specify a set of numeric defaults that are region-biased. For instance, "411" is not the number for directory assistance in many nations.

What is the set of desirable extensions to have as suggested (but not mandatory) destinations? I agree that "0" is an obvious directory/receptionist/IVR destination. What others?


#2 is already the case at my ITAD, at MIT's, at NPR's, at Octothorp,
and probably at many others.

But of course, there's no way to enforce any such thing.


Archive powered by MHonArc 2.6.16.

Top of Page