Re: Proposal: New Frame Size Text (was: Re: Design Issue: Frame Size Items)

Martin Thomson <> Mon, 13 May 2013 21:34 UTC

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Date: Mon, 13 May 2013 14:33:04 -0700
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From: Martin Thomson <>
To: James M Snell <>
Cc: Poul-Henning Kamp <>, =?UTF-8?B?V2lsbGlhbSBDaGFuICjpmYjmmbrmmIwp?= <>, "" <>
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Subject: Re: Proposal: New Frame Size Text (was: Re: Design Issue: Frame Size Items)
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On 8 May 2013 17:12, James M Snell <> wrote:
> Suggested replacement text for the current "Frame Size" discussion in
> the spec...
> ...
>    While the flow control protocol and framing mechanisms defined by
> this specification are largely independent of one another, the flow
> control WINDOW_SIZE places an upper limit on the total amount of data
> an endpoint can send to a peer at any given time. DATA, HEADERS,
> HEADERS+PRIORITY and PUSH_PROMISE frame sizes MUST NOT exceed the
> current WINDOW_SIZE for the stream or connection and MUST NOT be
> greater than 65,535 bytes. The 8 bytes of the frame header are not
> counted toward this limit.
>    When a new connection is established, both endpoints are permitted
> to begin sending frames prior to the establishment of an initial flow
> control WINDOW_SIZE. Accordingly, there is a risk that an endpoint
> might initially send frames that are too large for the peer to handle.
> To mitigate this risk, it is RECOMMENDED that, until the initial
> WINDOW_SIZE is established, the total size of individual
> header-bearing frames not exceed the current TCP Maximum Segment Size
> (MSS) and that individual DATA frames are no larger than 4096 bytes.
> The 8-byte frame header is included in these limits.
> If an endpoint is unable to process a frame due to its size and the
> frame specifies any stream identifier field value other than 0x0, the
> endpoint MUST respond with a <xref target="StreamErrorHandler">stream
> error</xref> using the FRAME_TOO_LARGE error code. If the stream
> identifier field value is 0x0, the endpoint MUST send a <xref
> target="ConnectionErrorHandler">connection error</xref> using the
> FRAME_TOO_LARGE error code.
> ...

I think that there is good advice here, namely: don't send a frame
larger than the current window (actually, both of them) permits.

What bothers me is that this is the only control on frame size.  And
it's not a very good one.  Unless you are operating at the
teeny-window end of the flow control space, then you probably want a
wider open window than this.  And the commitment that processing a
frame of size X imposes is greater than the commitment that buffering
a frame of size X imposes.

I'm not sure that this solves the problem.  At least not all of it.