Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call

Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu> Sat, 22 September 2007 16:53 UTC

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Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2007 12:51:46 -0400
From: Keith Moore <moore@cs.utk.edu>
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To: Dave Crocker <dcrocker@bbiw.net>
Subject: Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call
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the proposed change seems reasonable to me.

Keith

> On 5/14/2007 Lisa Dusseault wrote:
>
>> The IESG reviewed
>> <http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-crocker-rfc4234bis-00.txt>
>> for publication as Internet Standard and would like to know if there
>> is consensus to recommend against the use of LWSP in future
>> specifications, as it has caused problems recently in DKIM and could
>> cause problems in other places.
>>
>> Some discussion on this point already:
>>  - http://www1.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/ietf/current/msg46048.html
>>  - http://www1.ietf.org/mail-archive/web/discuss/current/msg00463.html
>>  - http://mipassoc.org/pipermail/ietf-dkim/2007q1/007295.html
>>  -
>> https://datatracker.ietf.org/public/pidtracker.cgi?command=view_comment&id=66440 
>> (in this tracker comment, Chris Newman recommended to remove LWSP,
>> but for backward-compatibility it's probably better to keep it and
>> recommend against use)
>
>
> Folks,
>
> The current situation with elevating the ABNF document to full
> Internet Standard is that Lisa has a Discuss hold on it, on behalf of
> an IESG view that a warning note should be attached.
>
> Acting as an individual contributor, Chris Newman has offered the
> following change to the document, as a possible means of resolving
> things:
>
>
>> OLD:
>>         LWSP           =  *(WSP / CRLF WSP)
>>                        ; linear white space (past newline)
>> NEW:
>>         LWSP           =  *(WSP / CRLF WSP)
>>                        ; Use of this linear-white-space rule permits
>>                        ; lines containing only white space that are no
>>                        ; longer legal in mail headers and have caused
>>                        ; interoperability problems in other contexts.
>>                        ; Do not use when defining mail headers and use
>>                        ; with caution in other contexts.
>
>
> The nature of the IETF process is such that there are no guarantees
> for what will resolve a Discuss, but the signs are good that a
> consensus on this list, for a note of this type, will suffice.
>
> The premise is that the discussion on this list, last May, had
> consensus to retain the LWSP construct and consensus to add a
> warning.  The text that Chris is suggesting seems to accomplish this.
>
> In spite of saying "Do not use", the comment is non-normative, in
> formal IETF specification terms.  Yet it does seem to adequately
> describe the problem and the way to deal with it.
>
>
>
>           So, I'm going to ask for a consensus call on this
>           modification, where the assumption is that the text
>           is acceptable.
>
>           All that is needed is for folk who *object* to speak up
>           and state their reasons.
>
>           If there is consensus *against* this change, we'll have to
>           try something else.
>
>           Absent a consensus *against* the wording change, we will
>           propose it to Lisa and see if that resolves her Discuss.
>
>           This consensus call closes on Sunday, 30 September.
>
>
> Thanks.
>
> d/