Re: Appeal against IESG blocking DISCUSS on draft-klensin-rfc2821bis

Simon Josefsson <> Wed, 18 June 2008 11:18 UTC

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From: Simon Josefsson <>
To: John C Klensin <>
Subject: Re: Appeal against IESG blocking DISCUSS on draft-klensin-rfc2821bis
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Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 13:19:13 +0200
In-Reply-To: <> (John C. Klensin's message of "Tue, 17 Jun 2008 15:31:35 -0400")
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John C Klensin <> writes:

> Changing the examples (or not) has _never_ been the core
> question.

I understand that, but I think the reason behind the DISCUSS can lead to
a better document.  I sympathize with your effort to make the IESG
decision process better documented, or at least consistent, and I'll
follow the result of this appeal with interest.

However, that is, as you seem to agree, not strongly related to the
document contents.

I think we can have two useful discussions at the same time: one about
the appeal/process issue and one about the document content.  My
thoughts here are more about the latter, as my time and energy to
participate in the discussion about the former is too restricted.

> As to Brian's suggestion, please consider the following, derived
> from RFC3501 and hypothesize that, at some point, an RFC 2606bis
> might be created (and go through the consensus process to BCP)
> that offers special reserved names for newsgroups or mailing
> lists as well as domain names (many of the arguments offered for
> using only reserved domain names, including "rude to the
> owners", would probably apply to newsgroups and other sorts of
> network entities as well) and that included a form of Brian's
> suggestion as normative.
> RFC3501 now includes:
>>    Example:    C: A002 LSUB "#news." "comp.mail.*"
>>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.mime
>>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.misc
>>                S: A002 OK LSUB completed
> Now, suppose, per Brian's suggestion, that were changed to 
>    Example:    C: A002 LSUB "#news." "comp.mail.*" *
>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.mime
>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.misc
>                S: A002 OK LSUB completed
> or
>    Example:    C: A002 LSUB "#news." "comp.mail.*" [Foobar]
>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.mime
>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.misc
>                S: A002 OK LSUB completed
> or
>    Example:    C: A002 LSUB "#news." "comp.mail.*"   [1]
>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.mime
>                S: * LSUB () "." #news.comp.mail.misc
>                S: A002 OK LSUB completed
> any of which would be consistent with what I interpret as the
> spirit of Brian's suggestion, with the "*", "[Foobar]", or "[1]"
> being anchors for a reference or footnote.
> Now _that_, folks, is confusing, since a reasonable reader might
> have trouble figuring out whether the footnote/reference anchor
> was part of the IMAP syntax and example or not.   It would be so
> confusing that I'd argue that it involved a substantive issue,
> rather than an editorial/stylistic one as Brian Carpenter
> suggests sometimes occurs.  I'd expect people to notice it
> during Last Call and complain, and I'd think an AD would be
> entirely justified in asking hard questions and forcing
> discussions.
> Whether the examples in 2821bis are like that case simply
> because they fail to use 2606 names is something that you should
> judge for yourselves.  But, because of possibilities that the
> examples above illustrate, be careful what you wish for.

That is a good and valid point.

There is one important part of what Brian Dickson suggested: that the
'[*]' (or similar markup) reference is added to "text".  Presumably it
would only be added to the first occurrence.  Adding the reference to
examples intended to illustrate the protocol is obviously a silly thing
to do.

With this elaboration regarding Brian's proposal, I would still be in
favor of making his change to the document, unrelated to the outcome of
the appeal.  The justification is that it results in a better and more
complete document.

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