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Paul Mockapetris: inventor of the Domain Name System in 1983

Last Edit: 10/01/17

Paul Mockapetris is a computer scientist who is credited with inventing the Domain Name System in 1983. The Domain Name System is part of the application layer of the Internet Protocol Suite and plays a crucial role in providing many Internet services. The Domain Name System is one of two Internet namespaces - the other being IP addresses - that provide a unique address for resources on the Internet. The Domain Name System plays a crucial role in providing an address system for both the World Wide Web and Electronic Mail.

Paul Mocakpetris made two proposals for an address system architecture for the 'ARPA Internet' in 1983. The 'ARPA Internet' was the name given to the computer network which would transition from ARPANET to the Internet. ARPANET was the first computer network to use TCP/IP, which is the protocol architecture which underpins the Internet. The two proposals that Mocakpetris made were Request for Comment (RFC) documents:

  1. RFC 882: which was titled "DOMAIN NAMES - CONCEPTS and FACILITIES"
  2. RFC 883: which was titled "DOMAIN NAMES - IMPLEMENTATION and SPECIFICATION"

Paul Mocakpetris implemented the first version of the Domain Name System in the TOPS-20 operating system. By 1984, the Domain Name System was implemented on a range of operating systems and has become a "cornerstone" for finding content on the Internet.

Paul Mocakpetris is a US citizen who was born in 1948, in Boston, Massachusetts. Mocakpetris graduated from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in the early 1970's, and joined the research and development department of the Viterbi School of Engineering in California: known as the Information Sciences Institute. It was while he worked at the Information Sciences Institute that Paul Mocakpetris made his proposal for the Domain Name System in 1983. Paul Mocakpetris is credited as being one of the pioneers of the Internet.