ACSP Suggestion 2009.21: Common RIR Whois Syntax


Author: Michael Dillon   
Submitted On: 26 November 2009


This suggestion appeared in an email message on NANOG. I think that ARIN should consider it and formally reply to Bill Manning.

to Randy Bush <>
date Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 10:32 AM
subject Re: Who doesn’t have AS 1712?

On Wed, Nov 25, 2009 at 06:36:13PM +0900, Randy Bush wrote:

> > Perhaps the RIRs could get together and agree on a common whois
> > syntax so that when I check one RIR with one syntax - it would work
> > on others as well? This issue has been around for over 7 years and
> > I can’t understand why the RIRs can’t find common ground for the sake of the end users?
> s/7/15/ it was already feeling like brickmarks on my forhead at the
> first s’holm ietf in ‘95
> randy

there are solutions, rwhois, iris, etc. some require changed behaviours
from the actors, (why RIPE decided unilaterally to change the flags/syntax
of whois escapes me at the mo), and some do not.

basically we are stuck w/ things like whois, swip, ad-nausea, due to
simple intertia.

and here is a saving grace… IPv6.

once, abt 8/9 years ago, I was talking w/ Richard Jimmerson about the
wonderful opportunity the RIRs had to build a scalable, extensable resource
tracking system that could be easily deployed by the RIR clients and seamlessly
integrated into a heirarchy of resource management segments.

the rational was/is that the RIRs are handing out functionally the entire
IPv4 address pool to any and all comers. Thats the size of a /32, presuming
one buys into the /64 chastity belt the IETF has wrapped around the lower 64

How is a lowly ISP expected to track/manage address assignments over such a
huge space w/o decent toolage?

so we can let our collective interia drag us down into increasing chaos or
we can use this one time chance to pull our collective bacon out of the fire.
After SIDR - I think development and deployment of this type of thing would
be a worthwhile use of my RIR fees.

YMMV of course.


Timeframe: Six-months

Status: Closed   Updated: 22 June 2015

Tracking Information

ARIN Comment

11 December 2009

There have been many attempts to unify directory services over the years; from SWIP, whois++, and more recently IRIS and Joint Whois. Currently, we are engaged in an ARIN-initiated effort called Whois-RWS ( . At the most recent ARIN meeting in Dearborn MI, we demonstrated this code and are waiting for input from the community. We have a mailing list setup for community feedback on this effort. To participate, join the mailing list at

One these improvements are fully in production, ARIN will begin to explore common syntax methods with the other RIRs. This will not occur immediately but is in ARIN’s roadmap for improved services to the community.

ARIN Comment

20 July 2011


ARIN is an active participant in the IETF WEIRDS effort, and plans to attend upcoming IETF meetings regarding syntax among the RIRs. This suggestion will remain open until resolved.

ARIN Comment

22 June 2015

Thank you for your suggestion, numbered 2009.21 upon confirmed receipt. As you know, this suggestion was taken up by the WEIRDS Working Group at the IETF and has required extensive coordination among the RIRS. The new standard, Registration Data Access Protocol (RDAP), was adopted in March of 2015.

ARIN completed its deployment of RDAP on 20 June 2015, and you can find details about this service at:

RDAP has been deployed by APNIC and LACNIC and anticipates deployment by the other RIRs and domain name registries over time. This suggestion is now completed and closed.

Thank you for participating in the ARIN Consultation and Suggestion Process.