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

Elwyn Davies <> Wed, 17 August 2016 22:50 UTC

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From: Elwyn Davies <>
To: Ben Campbell <>
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Subject: Re: [Gen-art] Gen-art LC2/Telechat review of draft-ietf-insipid-session-id-24
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Whether the session ID draft needs reworking or holding depends on whether the IESG (and the rest of the community) wants to prejudge the meaning/wordng of Barry's draft before it becomes an RFC.  As you say, the other case in point is somewhat different.  I'll repeat that given the  existence of the agreed text and the (IMO) non-foundational nature of the reqs RFC, I'd bite the bullet and copy over the text. There is nothing else referring to these definitions, it would get the whole thing in one place making it easier for implementors, and if anybody else wants to refer to it, it is then in 'canonical form' as a reference target in a standards track document. 
'Nuff said. 

Sent from Samsung tablet.
-------- Original message --------From: Ben Campbell <> Date: 17/08/2016  23:26  (GMT+00:00) To: Elwyn Davies <> Cc: General area reviewing team <>, Subject: Re: [Gen-art] Gen-art LC2/Telechat review of
On 17 Aug 2016, at 12:04, Elwyn Davies wrote:

> Hi, Ben.
> Having read Barry's proposed update for RFC 3967,  I would be happy 
> for that to become the status quo.  However, I would distinguish 
> between truly foundational documents that are produced in tandem with 
> the protocol standards or subsequently (as mentioned in Barry's draft) 
> and what one might call WG process documents such as requirements 
> documents and problem statements. I was going to use the word 
> 'ephemera' to describe these latter types, but that is doing them a 
> disservice:  Such documents, along with mailing list archives, can 
> provide insight into the thought processes that went into the 
> generation of the WG output for future reference.  Both the software 
> industry and the standards industry is incredibly bad at remembering 
> how decisions were reached - the concept of a 'design diary' never 
> seems to have taken hold - with the result that we spend an awful lot 
> of time reopening topics that were shown to be blind alleys and such 
> like especially after the original participants have moved on.
> That being said, I think that the 'design diary' category of documents 
> probably ought to be archived elsewhere than the RFC series; 
> additionally, it is unclear whether applying the RFC review processes 
> and resources to an essentially random subset of WG's design thoughts 
> is appropriate (that is a random set of WGs rather than a random set 
> of thoughts from any one WG - I hope :-) ).  As mentioned below, it is 
> not generally known in advance that parts of such documents might end 
> up being key references in later standards which can affect both the 
> way in which the documents are written (applicable in this case to 
> some extent) and the rigour of review  (the WG seems to have done a 
> good job in this case).
> Up until last month, I think that the foundational documents extension 
> would have covered the situation - RFC 6707 broke the mould, and I do 
> not consider that foundational covers it.

Without prejudice to your points (many of which I agree with), can I 
safely assume that the discussion above this point is more around 
Barry's draft, that we don't need to hold draft-ietf-insipid-session-id 
hostage to the completion of that discussion?

> Back to the current document:  I have reread s3 of RFC 7206 and there 
> are some points that need to be sorted out:
> - The term 'end-to-end' is given a slightly specialized meaning in RFC 
> 7206.  This is presumably carried through to the draft under review, 
> but the need to refer to the end-to-end definition is not mentioned in 
> the draft.
> - The use of 'session' as a shorthand for the specific meaning of 
> 'communication session' defined in RFC 7206 ought to be emphasized 
> within the draft since the shorthand in RFC 7206 is technically 
> limited to the RFC (ok, this is somewhat nitpicking but easy to 
> misinterpret.)

I agree with both of the above points. Authors?

> - The last para of s3.1 of RFC 7206 states:
>> This definition, along with the constraints imposed by the
>>     requirements in this document,....
> There is no explicit statement that this standard meets all the 
> requirements, so this is difficult to verify and might be 
> problematical in future.

I think that text, taken in context, is about the ability to use the 
session-id across protocols, not the definition of session-id in 
general. That is, even if the protocol fails to meet some of the 
requirements, the definition does not change.

> Overall, I am of the opinion that in this sort of situation, I'd do a 
> copy and paste exercise and tweak the text just a little to fit the 
> context more accurately.

Noted, and I hope to discuss that point with the rest of the IESG, 
either via mail or on the telechat. (I note, however, that there were 
multiple comments suggesting a different draft on tomorrow's telechat 
should not have copied definitions forward. Now, that was a requirements 
draft referencing terms from other requirements/architecture/problem 
statement drafts, so the situation may be a bit different.

> Cheers,
> Elwyn
> On 15/08/2016 21:48, Ben Campbell wrote:
>> 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 7206.
>> 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
>> [...]
>> Thanks!
>> Ben.
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