Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call

Lisa Dusseault <> Tue, 15 May 2007 00:35 UTC

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From: Lisa Dusseault <>
Subject: Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call
Date: Mon, 14 May 2007 17:35:46 -0700
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On May 14, 2007, at 3:55 PM, Dave Crocker wrote:

> Lisa Dusseault wrote:
>> The IESG reviewed < 
>> 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,
> 1   This issue was initially raised in the IESG by Chris Newman,  
> who changed
> his Discuss, with a statement that he recommended inserting a  
> comment, along
> the lines that others are also recommending.  Unless I've misread  
> the record,
> all other votes on advancing ABNF from Draft to Full are positive  
> or neutral,.
> except for your own Discuss.  Is this correct?

The issue was initially raised by Frank Ellerman or by various in the  
DKIM WG depending on how you look at it -- Frank explicitly suggested  
possible changes to the draft, in his posting to the IETF list.

You're right about the voting situation but here's the background: I  
took on the DISCUSS myself as a placeholder for an issue that the  
IESG had consensus to investigate further (consensus to investigate  
what the consensus is).   I could have asked somebody else to hold  
the DISCUSS but this seemed most convenient as long as the rest of  
the IESG trusted me to investigate.

> 2.  The ABNF is a candidate for moving from Draft to Full.  Will  
> removing a
> rule (that is already in use?) or otherwise changing the semantics  
> of the
> specification, at this point, still permit the document to  
> advance?  I had the
> impression that moving to Full was based on some serious beliefs  
> about a
> specification's being quite stable.  Making this kind of change,  
> this late in
> the game, would seem to run counter to that.

Moving to Internet Standard is indeed something we do carefully, and  
of course that means investigating proposed changes to make sure  
they're appropriate, and setting a high bar for accepting them.  I  
believe that's what we're doing here, investigating carefully.

I share your concerns about removing rules that are already in use --  
that would generally be a bad thing.  However I'm interested in the  
consensus around whether a warning or a deprecation statement would  
be a good thing.