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How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
Fixes: 62
Registered: 15-06-2007

How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

23 REPLIES
ddunford
Grafter
Posts: 114
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

I like it!
I'll raise it internally and see what i can do Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

As long as you don't start advertising on it, fine.
As long as you don't start overriding a legitimate 404 (or other applicable error message) then fine.
B.
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 5,179
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Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

Quote from: Barry
As long as you don't start overriding a legitimate 404 (or other applicable error message) then fine.

Can you actually do it without that?  The browser page appears when it receives a 404 error?  Surely you'd need to be returning a page to display, which would be a 200?
Kelly Dorset
Broadband Service Manager
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,789
Registered: 08-06-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

True, I was thinking of Verisign Site Finder like behaviour which obviously wouldn't react on a 404 but on missing domains.
The problems are listed in the wikipedia article, and it's something that I believe fairly strongly shouldn't be tampered with.
HOWEVER...
If it is the case of a legitimate domain address that is temporarily unavailable then it may be prudent to display a "helpful" page.  It's whether it can be determined on the fly and a page rendered fast enough to not be disruptive.
B.
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

I think this has something to do with the fact that as  the  openDNS cluster is fielding the queries it could trying  to reach the server and then returning  a search page if the server is unreachable for whatever reason.
Or redirecting the requests that would be submitted to the likes of google when a server is unreachable/resolution fails to its own search facility.
Sorry , never stared at the source code for a browser so these are just semi-educated stabs in the dark....
Remember that as the project is based on Open Source it could be doing anything.
prichardson
Grafter
Posts: 1,503
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

Overwriting 404 pages is something completely different to what is described here.
A 404 error is a HTTP protocol status code stating the URI accessed does not exist. How browsers react to this is differently. Firefox wfor example will display the output, Internet Exploder will display it's internal 404 page, unless the content returned is over X bytes (can't remember the requirement).
In order to receive the 404 status code, you have to have already connected to the HTTP server. And as the chain goes, you have to have received a valid DNS result for said hostname.
DNS is only about looking up the IP of a hostname and will not know if the URI you are seeking actually exists, hell, DNS is not even told about the URI itself.
So, some examples sir?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio1/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/Radio1/
Notice the subtle difference? No. OK, The word Radio is caps in one and not in the other.
Without the caps, you get the page you are looking for, with the caps, you get a 404 page.
Now, DNS will only ever know you have looked for www.bbc.co.uk, not what page on the BEEB.
What is being asked for in this post is good in one way, not in others. It works when DNS is not working, DNS returns no results or DNS suggests the domain does not exist only.
It needs to be implemented correctly, otherwise it breaks email for customers.
Want my personal opinion, the technical issues it can create for customers outweigh the functionality benefits, and gets my no vote.
Ianwild
Grafter
Posts: 3,835
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

I've always been very anti this myself. A 404 is an error message when a domain is not found in DNS. Anything other than an error requires us to serve a "DNS Exists" response, and that to my mind can't be a good thing to do. Fine if you've got a browser, but there are a lot more applications that use DNS where this is not the desired behaviour.
Certainly if we did it, I'd want to push us towards having an opt-out for customers like me who cherish the simpler things in life.

Ian
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

404 is file not found
SO I'd suspect that this server is down rather than anything else because as Phil and Ian say DNS only contains IP addresses for the host machine so it couldn't possibly return a 404
Community Veteran
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

I`m with Oldjim on this one..... I hate it when the computer screen says .....
can`t display  ................   
      [ ok ]

or similar...  Roll eyes
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

Oldjim?
Looks more like Gandalf the White to me  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

So I nicked it - I could find a decent picture of a really old codger which wouldn't leave me open to ribald comments from the more obstreperous members of this forum.  Grin
Now, if I found a better one, I could change it on all the fora as it is linked to my webspace.  Alternatively I could Photoshop it to change it to Gandalf the grey - that would be closer to real life
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

Think  the picture matches your reputation as a bright spark mate  Smiley
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,460
Thanks: 1,027
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Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

Really not too sure how to take that one - I will be charitable and assume you were being kind - then again  Roll eyes with this one I do look like a grumpy old git
techguy
Grafter
Posts: 2,540
Registered: 12-09-2008

Re: How about adding a nice error message to Plusnet DNS servers

I was being kind as your responses have always been extremely helpful.