Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call

Dave Crocker <dhc@dcrocker.net> Sat, 06 October 2007 00:31 UTC

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Date: Fri, 05 Oct 2007 17:30:22 -0700
From: Dave Crocker <dhc@dcrocker.net>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
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Subject: Re: Use of LWSP in ABNF -- consensus call
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Folks,

The consensus call that I issued 2 weeks ago received a few responses.  All 
were supportive of the change, with only one request for changing a single 
word and one weak vote in favor of that change.

My own view is that the change is not essential and is not supported strongly 
enough to warrant making the change and then re-querying for support of the 
revision.

So I'll add the proposed text to the draft and we'll see whether that gets the 
Discuss removed.

d/

Dave Crocker wrote:
> 
> 
> 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/

-- 

   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking
   bbiw.net