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The "traditional" method of advertising your site to the rest of the Usenet after setting it up is to get an entry for it added to the UUCP maps. Doing this involves choosing a name for your site and submitting a map entry indicating the name, other vital statistics, and a list of your feed sites, preferentially weighted. Since many Usenet sites still rely exclusively on the UUCP maps for routing mail, you will almost certainly want to register in the maps. To find out more about how to do this, read the "UUCP map for README" posting in comp.mail.maps, referenced above. However, the past several years have witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of sites choosing to register host names in the Internet Domain Name Service (DNS) hierarchy, in addition to getting a host entry added to the UUCP maps. The DNS hierarchy is becomingly increasingly standardized, and DNS name service is more reliable than the UUCP maps. Therefore, if you register a DNS name for your site, put that DNS name in your UUCP map entry as an alias for your site, and use the DNS address rather than the UUCP host name in your mail and Usenet postings, both UUCP hosts and hosts that do DNS will be able to get mail to you more efficiently and reliably. There are two types of DNS host records that are relevant here. If you have opted to contract with a company for a direct connection to the Internet, then you are probably going to want to register an address record advertising what your address will be on the Internet. Hosts which understand DNS can then use that record to connect directly to your machine and deliver mail to it. If, on the other hand, you are going to be getting your mail via UUCP from some other site, then the host record you will be registering is a Mail eXchange (MX) record. This record announces to the world that mail destined to your host can be directed instead to another host that IS directly on the Internet. That host is your "MX forwarder," and it must be one of your feed sites that knows how to deliver mail to you. In fact, you can have multiple MX records if you have multiple feeds on the Internet and want it to be possible for mail to be routed through all of them (for increased reliability), if they are willing. Note that if you use a commercial service provider for your mail feed, it will probably also be your MX forwarder. Even if none of your feeds are on the Internet, you may be able to get an MX record, by finding an Internet site that is willing to receive your mail and put it on its way through the correct UUCP route. There are currently at least a couple of sites willing to perform this service for no charge, in order to encourage the increased use of DNS records. You can therefore probably locate an MX forwarder by posting to news.admin.misc and asking if anyone is willing to forward for you. The procedure for registering a DNS record is quite simple. For some Network Information Centers (the people who handle domain registration, a.k.a. NICs), e.g., the InterNIC (see Internet RFC 1400 for more information about the InterNIC) which handles domain registration for the original Arpanet domains (COM, EDU, etc., as opposed to the geographic domains such as US for the United States, FR for France, etc.), it takes a month or less; others, unfortunately, might take a lot longer. Note that many commercial service providers, such as UUNET, will take care of this for you when you ask for a network connection or news/mail feed from them. Whether you decide to register an address record or an MX record, you need to decide what your DNS host name is going to be. Since the DNS is arranged in a hierarchy, you need to decide what hierarchy your name will appear in. For example, you might choose to be in the ".us" domain if you are in the United States and want to be in the United States geographical hierarchy. Alternatively, you might choose ".edu" for a University, ".org" for a non-profit organization, ".com" for a commercial company, etc. For more information about the various hierarchies and about choosing a host name, see the "How to Get Information about Networks" posting already referenced. If you are not in the US, you're theoretically supposed to have no choice about the top-level domain -- it should always be the two-letter ISO code for your country (".fr", ".de", etc.). However, depending on how and how well you are connected to the network, you might be able to get away with being in one of the older domains mentioned above (".edu", ".org", etc.). If you want to find out how to get a host name in a particular European domain, you can probably start by sending mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and asking for more information. Once you have determined your host name, you need to determine one or more hosts (preferably two or three, so that even if one is having trouble, the others will fill in for it) that will act as your "name servers," advertising your host name to anyone who asks for it. Note that many hierarchies have their own name servers, which means that when you go through the process of figuring out which domain your host name will be in, you may find some name servers available to you already. Furthermore, if you opt to go with a commercial service provider as described above, your service provider will probably be willing to act as a name server. Different domain-administration organizations may require fewer or more name servers (e.g. the NIC (mentioned below) requires at least two). Once you've got your host name picked out, you need to submit an application to the authorities for the domain you've chosen. Many of the domains, for example, are managed by the InterNIC -- to submit an application to one of those domains, you would get the file DOMAIN-TEMPLATE.TXT via anonymous ftp from rs.internic.net (ftp://rs.internic.net/templates/) fill it out, and mail it to email@example.com. You will probably determine the correct method for applying for a host name in your domain during the course of investigating which domain to put your host name in. If you submit an application and don't get any acknowlegement or response in a couple of weeks, it's a good idea to send another note to the same address as you sent your original application to, asking if it was received. Even if you aren't going to be connecting directly to Internet at the start, if your site is using any TCP/IP-based equipment, you should request a block of IP addresses, to save future transition headaches. Request one Class C address per subnet, or a Class B if your site has a large number of systems on multiple subnets (for the precise guidelines, see Internet RFCs 1366 and 1367). If you don't understand any of this and don't intend on getting on the Internet, don't worry about it. If/when you do decide to get onto the Internet, your service provider should be prepared to help you understand what needs to be done. Once your application has been approved and your name entered into your name servers' databases, update the mail software on your system and on your MX forwarder's system to recognize and use the new domain. [A final note: Much of the information in this section about the DNS system is sketchy. It is intentionally so, since all of this information is available from a number of different sources, and they cover it much better than I can here. If you are interested in finding out more about how the DNS works, you are strongly urged yet again to read the "How to Get Information About Networks" posting and to follow up on the sources of documentation that it references. You might also want to read the book "Connecting to the Internet"; see the entry for it in the "Bibliography" section below.]