Domains have a renewal grace period. Since it expired recently, they'll be fine.
Per ICANN if domain is made innactive the page that it points to if it points to a page (it doesn't have to you can just put the name on hold) needs to describe how to get the domain back. Once again that's only if a page is displayed displaying a page is not required.
"2.2.4. In interrupting the DNS resolution path of the registration, if the registrar directs web traffic to the domain name to a web page while the registration is still renewable by the RAE, that web page must conspicuously indicate that the domain name registration is expired and provide renewal instructions."
Note: I have been dealing with ICANN since the start and they tend to be pretty cool and fair with registrars but they do take complaints seriously and do follow up on them. Creates a ton and a pain of paperwork for registrars so that really is the negative to not complying in a way.
More likely what happened was that the guy who was incharge disappeared and/or his credit card number changed. And when the registrar tried to renew - it couldn't and I'm sure sent tons of emails of "HEY YOU NEED TO FIX THIS". Something similar almost happened to CentOS.
The problem with automatic renewals is its fine if you just have one domain. If you have a lot of domains it makes financial sense to shop around? I've always gone with the cheapest registrar(that I feel will be around in a year, or two), and never had a problem. Personally, I heard a long time ago the true cost of registering a domain is around $7.49. I don't know if that's correct? I don't like to pay much more than that per year--just on principal.
Since, people are throwing around companies, Google domains are $10 bucks a year/with free privacy. (At least they were a few months ago?) Godaddy did away with renewal discount codes; I see no reason to use that company anymore?
Gandi's customer support official response "don't use it". Gandi's management response "you are right - we don't have enough monitoring and are looking into it". With no follow ups.
At least they credited me, generously, for their latest outage in their US datacenter.
> Some people manage dozens, or even hundreds of domains. It's quite common in the "custom website design" world for the company (often a small agency) to manage the hosting of the site and domain.
DENIC, for example, (which operates seperately and has their own, incompatible WHOIS system), operates .de differently:
After your domain ran out, it will get "locked", all DNS settings will be locked they were before, and you get a letter or an SMS. The domain will stay locked for 2 weeks, during that you can enter the code from the SMS or letter on a website to move the domain to another registrar or delete the domain.
If you don’t react at all, after 2 weeks, the domain goes into TRANSIT. It still stays locked, but now you get actually billed for it, until you enter the code or delete the domain.
Essentially, with DENIC, the domain stays locked until you decide to delete it or move it to another registrar.
You can also disable the TRANSIT, in that case, if the domain runs out, after 2 weeks grace period of being locked it actually runs out.
Remember: Not all NICs operate like ICANN.
There are a bunch of decentralized possibilities out there: IPFS, Tahoe-LAFS, MaidSafe, and so on. None of them are ready yet, except (for some purposes) FreeNet and Tor Onion Services, and it's going to be a lot of work to get them to work, and probably some of them are simply unworkable. But this is a really, really important problem to solve, and it's solvable.
Now we only need to worry about the small matters designing an alternative system that acheives what the domain name system does without those draw-backs, and convincing people to use the new system...
Even if you go for something like QR codes you want a method that doesn't rely on encoding the fixed network address of a resource (as fixed addresses are usually not as permanently static as they are initially intended).
They are not trivial solutions to the problem, but the fact that they are in use makes its plausible that a solution can be found.
That would help to make sure you got the right page, but wouldn't help you find it.
Your other suggestions (e.g. a list of IP addresses/ports) are basically just reimplementing DNS, but with more complexity. :-)
The current DNS system is based on a central service authority, which creates a monopoly on an artificially scarce resource. If the whole web went IPv6 and no web server had to share an IP with another, private address book names, shared via social connections, could handle the naming of everything out on the long tail of site popularity, and the largest sites could continue using whatever makes the most money for them. I can input names myself to attach to the phone numbers I know, and pass them to a friend with a NFC tap or message, so I could potentially also do that for IP address numbers.
I don't particularly want my ability to use the web controlled by ICANN as a single central authority, especially as I perceived the recent TLD sale as a blatant cash grab. The central authority has to be trustable, and I don't fully trust it.
Once it goes beyond these two phases, it enters into the "pending delete" phase at the end of which, it's released and open to get hijacked by someone else.
They still have plenty of time to renew it without issue.
So maybe it was returned to its owner?
(as in, I have godaddy)
A key problem is people not seeing the reminders. Perhaps they get lost in a sea of spam. Perhaps they get accidently calssifed as spem themselves. Perhaps the contact information for the domain isn't kept up-to-date and the reminders end up in an email account that is no longer monitored.
I wonder if we're part way through DNS propogation
In all seriousness I'm pretty surprised they would let it lapse. Hopefully they pick it up within the grace period. It would suck for a bad actor to get ahold of it and offer up the gimp for download with, say, malware in it.
This wasn't really surprising to me* - some months ago, when we discovered that gimpguru.org (no one from GIMP is connected to that site, btw) had expired and taken over by a third-party, we checked and discovered that gimp.org expires on 2015-08-03.
Personally, I firmly believe that useful change only happens when survivable incidents happen, so my only concern was whether gimp.org would be lost immediately it wasn't renewed before that date. But when someone pointed out the grace period, I thought "well, either it is renewed in time, or we will have discussions similar to those that happen right now, might be a good wakeup call".
* but yes, of course I was surprised when I couldn't connect to www.gimp.org anymore, in particular because I had some updates planned for the downloads pages, because I had simply forgotten about it. Dismissing it as a non-issue until something actually happens tneds to cuase this, apparently.
don't be a jerk.
And yes, domain poaching is very douche-y, and is basically extortion.
(to anyone who knows this: it looks to me like fosshub wants to be the anti-sourceforge, the new home for binary opensource downloads, and that they're non-evil. is this true?)
I'd love to see them put out a tool similar to Ninite, though I don't know if they have the resources to allocate for that.