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2.3.3. Character Case Connected: An Internet Encyclopedia
2.3.3. Character Case

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2.3.3. Character Case

2.3.3. Character Case

For all parts of the DNS that are part of the official protocol, all comparisons between character strings (e.g., labels, domain names, etc.) are done in a case-insensitive manner. At present, this rule is in force throughout the domain system without exception. However, future additions beyond current usage may need to use the full binary octet capabilities in names, so attempts to store domain names in 7-bit ASCII or use of special bytes to terminate labels, etc., should be avoided.

When data enters the domain system, its original case should be preserved whenever possible. In certain circumstances this cannot be done. For example, if two RRs are stored in a database, one at x.y and one at X.Y, they are actually stored at the same place in the database, and hence only one casing would be preserved. The basic rule is that case can be discarded only when data is used to define structure in a database, and two names are identical when compared in a case insensitive manner.

Loss of case sensitive data must be minimized. Thus while data for x.y and X.Y may both be stored under a single location x.y or X.Y, data for a.x and B.X would never be stored under A.x, A.X, b.x, or b.X. In general, this preserves the case of the first label of a domain name, but forces standardization of interior node labels.

Systems administrators who enter data into the domain database should take care to represent the data they supply to the domain system in a case-consistent manner if their system is case-sensitive. The data distribution system in the domain system will ensure that consistent representations are preserved.


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