Thick and thin whois

by WhoAPI » Wed Jul 29, 2015 8:46 am

Recently we were asked via our support email if the parsed whois data on some of the whois servers that we haven't parsed yet can be trusted to be correct.

So the question was: ""Whois server not yet supported", but data present"
I've noticed around 25% of whois responses with status 7 responses (whois server not yet supported) actually do have all the data present. Any idea why this is happening? Does it have any special meaning vs regular status 0 responses?

Great question. Lets take domain as an example. You will get a response from WhoAPI's whois API that looks like this:
whois server not yet supported.png
whois server not yet supported.png (73.95 KiB) Viewed 11214 times

As you can see by the whois API's response, there's some data that is parsed! You can see that the domain is registered, you can get the date of creation, date of expiry, nameservers, domain status, whois server, and raw whois. So in this example, you can tell that we haven't parsed the whois for "". So how come we have the data mentioned before? Sure, we could get the nameserver from our DNS zone API but we got it from the thin whois. There is thin and thick whois and there is so much more about that on Wikipedia's page that we linked here.

This is also the reason why you can't really write a parser for the .com domain extension. You can for the thin whois, but what the world really needs is a thick parser for the .com domain, which means parsing all the whois servers in the world, on each accredited domain registrar out there.
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