Here’s an illustration of what I mean when I complain about corrupting error diagnostics: During the past 20 minutes or so (it’s now 1:38 a.m. GMT+0200), the address which is returned by the registry in response to queries for unregistered domain names was unreachable. The result? Instead of a quick message that I’ve mistyped the domain name, I get a timeout after waiting for quite some time. That’s a highly misleading error diagnostic, and it’s making the user experience much worse. Which brings us to another problem with this: Verisign has been careful to put work-arounds in place that are supposed to mitigate the effects of the DNS change for individual protocols. These work-arounds depend on the availability of Verisign’s infrastructure in order to work, though. Once this infrastructure is unreachable, users have no possibility to discern a non-existing domain name from an unreachable host.
Talking about user experience, I’m also sure that users of Asian localized software will very much appreciate getting English-language error messages from Verisign instead of localized and translated error messages from the software they are running.