Re: [DNSOP] WGLC for draft-ietf-dnsop-let-localhost-be-localhost-02

Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com> Thu, 01 February 2018 21:26 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com>
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Date: Thu, 1 Feb 2018 15:26:40 -0600
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To: Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com>
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Subject: Re: [DNSOP] WGLC for draft-ietf-dnsop-let-localhost-be-localhost-02
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On Feb 1, 2018, at 2:48 PM, Andrew Sullivan <ajs@anvilwalrusden.com> wrote:
>> As a general principle, when what the RFC says to do is not the right thing to do, the solution is to update the RFC, not to ignore the problem.
> 
> I strongly agree with this (as I think or anyway hope you know)

Yes, I will admit I was a bit surprised that you put it that way, although as you say, your position is more clear in your formal review of the document.

As for why I responded to this and not to the formal review, the answer is that the formal review was a bit overwhelming.  You made a lot of assertions of fact that didn't sound like fact to me—they sounded like strongly-held opinion.   You are a much more experienced DNS expert than I am, so for me to argue you away from those opinions is a tall order—I don't think you've really expressed the underlying belief that is the keystone to the whole edifice.

The problem I have is that to me it's dead obvious that the name hierarchy and the set of names in the DNS are not the same thing.   We've had that discussion before.   We even published a document about it, which hasn't quite made its way out of the RFC editor queue yet.   It seems to me that it is demonstrably the case that these two sets are disjoint.

But you explain your reasoning on the basis that clearly they are the same set, and that they are the same set is left unexamined.   So if we were to succeed in understanding why we disagree on this point, it would be necessary to dig down into that.

Having seen you give keynotes at the plenary, I know that you are deeply concerned about computer security.   The reason that I am in favor of the behavior I'm propounding is that I think it closes a small security gap through which a truck might some day be driven, to our woe.   So to me, the need to leave that gap, which I admit is small, open, seems inconsistent with what I know of you.

So clearly you value this idea that localhost is a name that exists in the DNS, even though it doesn't exist in the DNS.   It might be fruitful to explore that further.   It might also be a waste of time.   I don't honestly know.   But that is, I think, the key to our disagreement.