Why Oracle should not decommission SUN.COM

Given the historical significance of SUN.COM, what would it hurt Oracle to keep it running?
Written by David Gewirtz, Senior Contributing Editor

Update: Sigh. Made a typo on the single most important element of the story, the date the domain was assigned. Fixed. It was assigned in 1986, not 1996.

On Thursday, Rick Ramsey of the Oracle Technology Network declared in his blog, "Sun.com Will Disappear After June 1". He goes on to talk about the content that was on SUN.COM moving to other pages within the Oracle Technology Network.

I accept this. Oracle bought Sun and has the right to do with its purchase as it pleases. On the other hand, there might be a better option.

Look, we all know keeping a domain up and running and serving a few pages off it costs virtually nothing. So, it's not like Oracle will save big dollars by sun-setting the SUN.COM domain.

On the other hand, SUN.COM is a domain of historical consequence. SUN.COM was registered on March 19, 1986 1996, the very same day that IBM.COM registered. Back then, the top-level domain name system was run by the government, actually the U.S. Department of Defense, and only 10 other domain names had been registered earlier.

Because SUN.COM and IBM.COM were registered on the same day, it's a matter lost to history whether SUN.COM was .COM domain #11 or #12, but the fact is, it was one of the very first of what would be millions upon millions of .COM domains.

Given the historical significance of SUN.COM, what would it hurt Oracle to keep it running? Keep a page or two on it about that being a domain of historical import, and then link back to Oracle. Or do a tribute to the early days of the 'net, and run content like this. Or what about donating the domain to The Computer History Museum?

It's not a big thing to keep a domain running, but it has been a very big thing how long this particular domain name has been running. Here's hoping Oracle can find a better way to preserve this tiny bit of virtual history into the future.

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