Re: [dmarc-ietf] Fwd: I-D Action: draft-ietf-dmarc-psd-10.txt

Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org> Fri, 19 February 2021 23:02 UTC

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From: Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2021 18:01:52 -0500
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To: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <superuser@gmail.com>
Cc: Dave Crocker <dcrocker@gmail.com>, IETF DMARC WG <dmarc@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [dmarc-ietf] Fwd: I-D Action: draft-ietf-dmarc-psd-10.txt
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I agree that the abstract is unclear.  This makes no sense to me:

   domain names represent either nodes in the tree below
   which registrations occur, or nodes where registrations have
   occurred; it does not permit a domain name to have both of these
   properties simultaneously.

I don't understand the distinction that it's trying to make between
the two possibilities.
I also don't see the antecedent to "these domains" in the final
sentence of that paragraph.

Beyond that:
> I'm at a loss to understand what's confusing.  I'm not convinced that "registrations" in the
> context of domain names is unclear to a reader familiar with this space.

I am absolutely convinced that it is.  Think of people in M3AAWG, for
whom this is very relevant.  Many of them don't know much about
registries, registrars, and such, and in general, the average reader
won't understand the difference, from a "registration" standpoint,
between facebook.com (which is registered) and "www.facebook.com"
(which is not).  To the average reader, "facebook.com" is registered
under com, and "www.facebook.com" is registered under facebook.  And
the ones who don't think that will likely not understand why we can't
just talk about second-level domains and be done with it.

All that needs to be explained in the Introduction, not the Abstract.
But the Abstract has to explain enough for a reader to understand why
she might or might not be interested in getting the document and
reading it.  So it's going to be tough to word it carefully and to
keep it concise.  But we have to.

Stressing a point:
We very clearly do NOT want to explain this stuff in the Abstract.  In
fact, we don't have to explain much at all in the Abstract.  What we
have to do is make sure that the Abstract doesn't say stuff that's
*wrong* or confusing.  So let's try to find some fifth-grade language
that can suffice, and then make sure the Introduction has the right
words to make it clear to people who know how to do email, but who
don't already understand the issues involved here.

Barry