We did it. Mark your calendars, since today is the day in which we are releasing our WHOIS validation tool. The super-serious description would be Registration Data Directory Service Specifications Validator (add “9000” for extra tension while saying it) – or you can just call it Brian. Why Brian? Because I feel like Brian suits the secret purpose of why we are releasing this tool. But I’ll talk about that later in this post.
Let me explain its official purpose first:
The first part is the validator itself. You can now check whether the WHOIS output of a specific registry complies with ICANNs Registration Data Directory Service Specifications set in various Registry Agreements.
The second part is an interactive rules-guide for the abovementioned specifications. When (formatting) errors are found, our tool points them out and lets you read up on it in detail.
That’s it. That is its purpose. Nothing more. That is also the boring part, because now I am gonna explain to you the secret purpose of our new tool. And please don’t tell anyone, because – you know – its secret.
Imagine you handle about 100.000 (sometimes five times more, other times a fifth of that) database records per day. You process them automatically, because if not you’d need about as many employees as Walmart has. We obviously have the money, but we just don’t feel like hiring so many people. Which leaves us with the only thing that makes sense: Process insane amounts of data automatically.
Which of course is what we are doing. We programmed a nice piece of software that validates everything. And by everything I mean everything. It goes through the nTLDStats database and checks for bugs, burglars and insurance agents. A few minutes after we ran it for the first time, it died. The reason was an unexpected output format provided by a registry. So we added an exception for that and ran it a second time. Again, it died shortly after we started it. Same reason. So we added another exception. It went on and on like this for a while – basically forever. At this point, I am not even sure whether you can even remotely comprehend the frustration we felt in the office. Lets just say some tables, keyboard, coffee cups as well as one USB fan had to be replaced. But we are okay now.
We now have Brian.
Brian will display which Registry does not comply with their Registration Data Directory Service Specifications set in a Registry Agreement for their own gTLD. Brian will also show you a graph, detailing which registries WHOIS output has errors and how many there are. We will even send E-Mails, manually(!), to those registries with the most error count in their WHOIS output to make them feel bad!
Runs away laughing maniacally
P.S.: On a more serious note: The ICANN is planning to do what we’re doing starting 2016, but with real consequences for the particular registry. So love us or hate us, we’re doing you a favour.