Re: [6lowpan] Titles of 6LoWPAN RFCs

Alexandru Petrescu <> Fri, 01 July 2011 16:28 UTC

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Date: Fri, 01 Jul 2011 18:27:19 +0200
From: Alexandru Petrescu <>
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Subject: Re: [6lowpan] Titles of 6LoWPAN RFCs
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Le 29/06/2011 13:45, Pascal Thubert (pthubert) a écrit :
> Hi Carsten:
> Maybe the answer depends on the draft. HC depends on the 802.15.4
> for some of the compression procedure and it makes sense that this
> appears in the title.
> ND does not have such a strong link to the MAC so there is no point
> pinpointing 802.15.4 or any specific IEEE.

This is so wrong (sorry).

ND is fundamentally related to IEEE stuff, at least in the way it forms

An ND for 802.15.4 could, for example, tell that Routers must MLD REPORT
and then 802.15.4-join (a kind of MAC message).

> Rather, ND makes sense because of the NBMA nature of the network, and
> the desire to save multicast operation, which is common to LLNs.

Yes, and the conceptual NBMA nature is illustrated in practical terms of
ND when an RS is sent to ff02::2 (an IP address) which is 33:33::2 (an
IEEE MAC address).

Multicast operation is a common link-layer operation in all Ethernet and 
its family, not necessarily LLN.


> So I do not think we need to change ND.
> Finally, 6LoWPAN as a name as become a lot more than what the acronym
> could initially stand for. I do not think the drafts should use
> 6LoWPAN for what it expands to, but rather as the name of the WG that
> defined all those drafts.
> Cheers,
> Pascal
>> -----Original Message----- From:
>> [] On Behalf Of Carsten Bormann
>> Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 1:20 PM To: 6lowpan WG Subject:
>> [6lowpan] Titles of 6LoWPAN RFCs
>> While completing the RFC editor work for 6LoWPAN-HC, the issue of
>> supplying correct and useful titles for our RFCs came up again.
>> You may recall that we went through a little bit of discussion
>> already for 6LoWPAN-ND, which has the same problem.
>> The exposition of the problem takes a couple of paragraphs, so bear
>> with me, please.
>> Superficially, one part of the problem is that the marker that
>> people are using to find our work, 6LoWPAN, was built out of the
>> WPAN abbreviation invented by IEEE.
>> One issue with that is that, strictly speaking, 6LoWPAN would
>> require a double expansion in an RFC title as in
>> 6LoWPAN (IPv6 over Low Power WPAN (Wireless Personal Area
>> Networks))
>> WPAN also is a bad short-term politically motivated term -- it was
>>  needed in IEEE to get the 802.15.4 radio accepted under 802.15.
>> WPAN ("Wireless Personal Area Networks") is highly misleading, as
>> there is nothing at all "Personal Area" about 802.15.4 WPANs. The
>> deciding characteristic is the low-power, limited-range design
>> (which, as a consequence, also causes the additional
>> characteristic of lossiness that ROLL has chosen for its
>> "Low-Power/Lossy" moniker).
>> Still, the misleading four letters WPAN are part of the now
>> well-known "6LoWPAN" acronym, and we may need to use this acronym
>> to make sure the document is perceived in the right scope.
>> In the recent history of 6LoWPAN-HC being fixed up to address WGLC
>>  comments, there was a silent title change.
>> HC-13 used the title: (September 27, 2010) Compression Format for
>> IPv6 Datagrams in 6LoWPAN Networks HC-14 changed this to:
>> (February 14, 2011) Compression Format for IPv6 Datagrams in Low
>> Power and Lossy Networks (6LoWPAN)
>> This borrows ROLL's term "Low-Power and Lossy Networks", which may
>>  seem natural to the authors, who have done a lot of work in ROLL.
>>  Note that the ROLL WG has a wider scope than the 6LoWPAN WG (it
>> is at layer three, connecting different link layer technologies),
>> so it may be useful to retain a distinction between 6LoWPANs and
>> LLNs.
>> Specifically, 6LoWPAN-HC as defined has a lot of dependencies on
>> RFC 4944 and IEEE 802.15.4, so using it as-is in generic "LLNs"
>> would be inappropriate.  (It sure can be adapted for many
>> non-6LoWPAN LLNs, but that would be a separate draft.)
>> 6LoWPAN-ND has a similar problem.  Indeed, some of the concepts of
>>  6LoWPAN-ND may be applicable to a lot of networks that benefit
>> from relying less on multicast.  In an attempt to widen the scope,
>> there was a title change when we rebooted the ND work to simplify
>> it:
>> ND-08: (February 1, 2010) 6LoWPAN Neighbor Discovery ND-09: (April
>> 27, 2010) Neighbor Discovery Optimization for Low-power and Lossy
>> Networks
>> However, the document as it passed WGLC still is focused on
>> 6LoWPANs (e.g., it contains specific support for 6COs).
>> For both HC and ND, I don't think we properly discussed the
>> attempted title changes in the WG.
>> So what are the specific issues to be decided? I see at least:
>> -- Should we drop the 6LoWPAN marker from our documents? (Note
>> that RFC 4944 doesn't have it, but in the 4 years since, the term
>> has gained some recognition.) Should there be another common
>> marker? -- E.g., should we change over the whole documents (HC, ND)
>> to LLN? -- Should we just refer to IEEE 802.15.4 in the title (no
>> 6LoWPAN)? HC = Compression Format for IPv6 Datagrams over IEEE
>> 802.15.4
> Networks
>> ND = Neighbor Discovery Optimization for IEEE 802.15.4 Networks --
>> Or should we stick with 6LoWPAN in both title and body? -- If the
>> latter, what is an appropriate expansion of 6LoWPAN? Can we get
>> rid of the "Personal" in the expansion? -- IPv6 over Low power
>> Wireless Personal Area Networks [RFC4944] -- IPv6-based Low power
>> Wireless Personal Area Networks [RFC4944] -- IPv6 over Low-Power
>> Wireless Area Networks -- IPv6-based Low-power WPANs -- Other
>> ideas? -- Whatever we decide about the above: What is the
>> relationship between the well-known term 6LoWPAN and ROLL LLNs?
>> Since 6LoWPAN-HC is waiting in the RFC editor queue, blocked for
>> just this title issue, I'd like to resolve these questions quickly.
>> Please provide your reasoned opinion to this mailing list by July
>> 1.
>> Gruesse, Carsten
>> _______________________________________________ 6lowpan mailing
>> list
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