Re: [Gen-art] Gen-art LC2/Telechat review of draft-ietf-insipid-session-id-24

"Ben Campbell" <> Mon, 15 August 2016 20:48 UTC

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From: Ben Campbell <>
To: Elwyn Davies <>
Date: Mon, 15 Aug 2016 15:48:15 -0500
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Subject: Re: [Gen-art] Gen-art LC2/Telechat review of draft-ietf-insipid-session-id-24
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Hi Elwyn:

Responsible AD Hat on:

I'm going to enter a DISCUSS position, to make sure this point gets 
discussion among the IESG before this progresses. The whole point of the 
repeated last call was to get feedback on the downref, and this 
certainly counts :-)

All hats off:

As an individual, I still disagree. Specifics inline:

On 12 Aug 2016, at 18:14, Elwyn Davies wrote:

> Hi, Ben.
> AFAICS there is only one really similar case (downref to RFC 6707) 
> which was approved just last month (based on a problem statement).

I'm pretty sure there are more than that; the idea that terminology 
references may need to be normative has come up repeatedly during IESG 
reviews over the past year or so.

>  My concern here is that the other framework and requirements 
> documents are documents that continue to have a relevance (such as 
> telling a network operator what is necessary to allow deployment of 
> some IETF-defined technology) rather than being something that defines 
> what a WG is intending to work on (RFC 6707 and RFC 7206 are 
> respectively a problem statement and a protocol requirements 
> statement).  As we know, there has been some considerable discussion 
> of whether we should really be publishing these documents as RFCs 
> given that they are snapshots of a discussion position at a point in 
> time and are only really of academic interest once the working group 
> has done its work.

I agree that we should cut down on publication of "requirements", "use 
case", etc documents that do not have long term archival value. But I 
don't think there should be as hard of a line as you describe. In 
particular, sometimes they are valuable for nailing down especially 
hard-won consensus about requirements. I think that is true for RFC 

But in any case, I think this is a red herring. RFC 7206 has been 
published. This discussion isn't going to change that.

>  Allowing them to be used as normative references further embeds them 
> into the system.

I don't see why. Not every action creates a precedent. I do not propose 
that we add RFC to the downref registry.

> I would also caution that terminology and such like as defined in 
> (protocol) requirements and problem statements are generally written 
> and approved prior to the standards documents in which the are 
> referenced. Further, I am not totally convinced that the same degree 
> of rigour is applied to the review of this type of document.  Thus it 
> is vitally important to ensure that the definitions are still correct, 
> complete and reflect what is needed for the standard(s):  The 
> protocols don't always exactly match the requirements - and there may 
> have been some subtle bending of the meaning of terms over time!
> If the downref is to be accepted, then I (and other reviewers) need to 
> go back and have a harder read of the definitions, unless they think 
> they already did.

I believe the working group intent was that the definitions stated in 
RFC 7206 are the ones used in the protocol.

>   One consequential question: Is it time for either an update or 
> some commentary on RFC 3967 as there seems to be a relaxation of the 
> statements in Section 2?

RFC 3967 section 2 makes no attempt to be exhaustive. It basically says 
"there are some reasons to make exceptions. Here are some examples."

(There actually is an ongoing discussion about relaxing bits of RFC 
3967. See draft-leiba-3967upd-downref-00, especially the third paragraph 
of section 1.)
> However
> My view is just that... if the authors, WG, you as AD and the IESG are 
> happy with the downref and I am in a minority of one (or a very small 
> number) of the IETF, then there is rough concensus and I'll be fine 
> with the outcome.  It is only a gen-art revew...

It's a gen-art review on an IETF last call done _specifically_ for the 
downref, so I think the outcome is relevant :-)

> Cheers,Elwyn
> PSI note that it wouldn't be too late to undo the relaxation.. the 
> draft referencing RFC 6707 is still with the RFC Editor ;-)
> /E