"I always assumed the reason behind .org, .net, .com and country TLDs was to keep things organized and consistent. Why have they decided to do what appears to me as simply going back on themselves?"
It's documented. Look at the "msggroup" archives from the era, it's the first mailing list at a time when there was only one mailing list. They say this is how it went down. The network was young, maybe 1000 nodes or so, and totally arbitrary host names were about to be phased out in favor of hierarchical DNS names. This would eliminate the problem of the host table getting huge, and the bigger it got the more often it needed updating.
DNS names were decentralized. Nameservers point to other name-servers which point to name-servers, thus the whole name database management problem went away as the data was decentralized.
But about the only thing people agreed on was "." or dot. Remember at the time the network was being used by military and aerospace contractors and universities. That's pretty much it.
So there was .mil, .nato, .arpa and then .com and .net for "commercial networks" (not that any existed then) and .net for "network infrastructure" - it was supposed to be for routers and stuff. .org was for "anything else" and wasn't "for non profits" as the ICANN bozos now claim. Check the rfc.
Nobody really liked the names, they argued about it for about a month, then Jon Postel just decided, and that was that.
Steve Wolff is the guy that took the network out of the hands of the US government and freed it so anybody could do anything. But in moving administration of the network he *forgot* about the domain system so it stays in the hands of the US government. Where of course it was immediately taken over by special interest groups where it's been ever since.
Don't expect any rational name schemes out of these clowns. If you look at the 2000 Marina Del Rey ICANN conference video where they picked the .museum and .coop winners you'll hear Darth Cerf say "I don't like the way that plays on the ear" and that was that, for $50K application for a tld that's how much thought you got, made only more ironic by the fact Cerf is deaf.
For $50K a deaf guy says it doesn't sound right to him.
I'm dying to see what the $185K test is, although I suspect it involves telepathy, midgets and a sausage.
rjs oct 08