Re: Call for Community Feedback: Retiring IETF FTP Service

Daniel Migault <> Tue, 17 November 2020 05:04 UTC

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From: Daniel Migault <>
Date: Tue, 17 Nov 2020 00:03:48 -0500
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Subject: Re: Call for Community Feedback: Retiring IETF FTP Service
To: Adam Roach <>
Cc: Keith Moore <>, IETF Discussion <>
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Putting opex aside, it seems to me that modern communications need to be at
least authenticated so ftp cannot stay as it is. I might be missing
something, but switching ftp to https seems to me quite straight forward
and at least much easier than switching to sftp or ftps. Given the support
of https versus ftp, I also believe reducing the surface of attacks and
relying on probably better maintained code is probably a good switch. I
believe that switching to https is a good move


On Mon, Nov 16, 2020 at 5:16 PM Adam Roach <> wrote:

> On 11/16/20 11:12, Keith Moore wrote:
> > On 11/16/20 11:48 AM, Adam Roach wrote:
> >
> >> In the analysis, I think there are two costs to consider and one
> >> benefit. The benefit of leaving it online, of course, is that some
> >> small group of users still find utility in FTP.
> >
> > IMO that misstates the benefit.   A stable service can have a large
> > (and long-term) benefit even if only a few clients at a time use it.
> Only read in a vacuum. If you read further, I argue for the stable
> interfaces you want. I believe that your objections (here and elsewhere)
> mentioning "user interface" conflate HTTP (transport) with HTML
> (markup), and mixing user interface into the RFCs isn't a foregone
> conclusion: the requirement you have of not mixing display in with
> documents is why I suggest that raw versions be made available. And I
> even argue for making the filesystem mountable like you requested, even
> if I consider that use case to be a bit baroque.
> I'm sympathetic to the position that all change can be disruptive, and I
> understand that you know how FTP works and are comfortable with it. At
> the same time, I'm not yet seeing any requirements that you've put forth
> that can't be met pretty trivially with HTTP, other than an inferred
> bedrock requirement of "this must not change at all."
> I get it. It's annoying when a technology we like falls by the wayside.
> But I think the costs I describe in my previous message are real, and
> the use cases described so far can be entirely met with HTTP. So I think
> a critical evaluation of the pros and cons points to retiring the
> service. YMMV, of course, but I encourage you to reflect a bit more on
> how much of your reaction is pushback on any change at all versus
> actually losing the ability to do what you want to do.
> /a

Daniel Migault