With the advent of multiple DNS registrars, the default whois server at
rs.internic.net has started sending redirects instead of actual data. I
have written a simple sh script, available at
<http://www.thibault.org/whois2>, which invokes fwhois (or whois, if that's
what you have) and processes the redirect. It also sends lookups for IP
numbers to whois.arin.net (I haven't yet gotten it to handle ARIN's
redirects for other IP number registries).
This script should work fine as a dropin replacement for /usr/bin/whois
(instead of the symlink that's there now).
The script itself has some /tmp race conditions, but those are fixable issues.
The bigger question is whether the user wants to have the redirect done
automatically or not.
While convenience is certainly nice to have, there is also the issue of being
consistent with what is expected - doing automatic redirection arguably violates
the principle of least surprise.
Or, alternatively, "least surprise" means that it should keep working as it
traditionally has: you ask for information, you get it.
One option would be to include something like my wrapper, but under a different
name, so that a user can use "xwhois" (or whatever) instead of "whois".
Taking ownership of this module, taking the bugs
fwhois is being dropped, clossing this bug