Re: [Idr] [BULK] Bug in draft-ietf-idr-rfc5575bis, worth fixing?

Christoph Loibl <> Thu, 24 September 2020 09:48 UTC

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From: Christoph Loibl <>
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Date: Thu, 24 Sep 2020 11:48:44 +0200
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Cc: John Scudder <>, "idr@ietf. org" <>, "Dongjie (Jimmy)" <>, Hares Susan <>, "" <>
To: Alvaro Retana <>
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Subject: Re: [Idr] [BULK] Bug in draft-ietf-idr-rfc5575bis, worth fixing?
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I fully agree with Alvaro (to both statements). 

John: If you want me to edit this phrase into the document I think there won't be any objections (while I believe it is not needed). How shall we continue (should I do the change or is this something RFC-editors are doing now?).

Cheers Christoph 

Christoph Loibl | CL8-RIPE | PGP-Key-ID: 0x4B2C0055 |

> On 23.09.2020, at 23:37, Alvaro Retana <> wrote:
> John:
> Hi!
> Personal opinion:  I believe that the “specified here” part (meaning this document) is already covering the unknown case.  However, I have no objections to adding the phrase in.
> Thanks!
> Alvaro.
> On September 23, 2020 at 5:14:50 PM, John Scudder ( <>) wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> I’m a little concerned about a change I failed to notice earlier in 5575bis. Version 17 had this paragraph in Section 4.2:
>>    All combinations of component types within a single NLRI are allowed,
>>    even if the combination makes no sense from a semantical perspective.
>>    If a given component type within a prefix in unknown, the prefix in
>>    question cannot be used for traffic filtering purposes by the
>>    receiver.  Since a Flow Specification has the semantics of a logical
>>    AND of all components, if a component is FALSE, by definition it
>>    cannot be applied.  However, for the purposes of BGP route
>>    propagation, this prefix should still be transmitted since BGP route
>>    distribution is independent on NLRI semantics.
>> Version 18 removed the paragraph. I believe it was removed because of good and reasonable concerns about the “prefix should still be transmitted” part. But, it appears we threw out the baby with the bathwater: the final version of the draft has nothing that corresponds to the underlined part. It is underspecified with respect to what should be done with unknown component types. The closest it comes is this paragraph in Section 4.2 of version 26:
>>    A NLRI value not encoded as specified specified here is considered
>>    malformed and error handling according to Section 10 <> is performed.
>> But I think this falls well short of being either clear or unambiguous, because what does “as specified here” mean exactly? 
>> I’d like to open a discussion of whether the WG agrees that this is a bug and if so, whether it’s concerning enough to request a last-minute patch to the document, which is currently with the RFC Editor, so it’s almost an RFC. I think the least intrusive fix would be to insert the clause “including an NLRI that contains an unknown component type”, as in:
>>    A NLRI value not encoded as specified here,
>>    including an NLRI that contains an unknown component type,
>>    is considered
>>    malformed and error handling according to Section 10 <> is performed.
>> Just as a side note, “error handling according to Section 10” points us to RFCs 7606 and 4760, which end up telling us to reset the session if the NLRI is malformed.
>> Until we get a chance to discuss this, I’ve sent a note to the RFC Editor asking them to hold publication.
>> Thanks,
>> —John
>> P.S.: The version 26 text also has a proofreading error, “specified specified”. But I assume the RFC Editor would fix that anyway.