Re: I-D Action: draft-hansen-nonkeywords-non2119-04.txt

Dave Cridland <> Thu, 03 March 2016 16:58 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 7A0E61A8855 for <>; Thu, 3 Mar 2016 08:58:34 -0800 (PST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -1.378
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-1.378 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[BAYES_00=-1.9, DKIM_SIGNED=0.1, DKIM_VALID=-0.1, DKIM_VALID_AU=-0.1, FM_FORGED_GMAIL=0.622, HTML_MESSAGE=0.001, SPF_PASS=-0.001] autolearn=no
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id 7seluk5qI1SY for <>; Thu, 3 Mar 2016 08:58:33 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ( [IPv6:2a00:1450:400c:c09::22b]) (using TLSv1.2 with cipher ECDHE-RSA-AES128-GCM-SHA256 (128/128 bits)) (No client certificate requested) by (Postfix) with ESMTPS id AFE6E1A883D for <>; Thu, 3 Mar 2016 08:58:32 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with SMTP id n186so140665763wmn.1 for <>; Thu, 03 Mar 2016 08:58:32 -0800 (PST)
DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=google; h=mime-version:in-reply-to:references:date:message-id:subject:from:to :cc; bh=kurjVNsVP6FUZwGp6qERnrp3zzGEjOd4UnkyrklM1/4=; b=fcE50qff83MKITwRaJ40x/JedWYpxxFUJ26pVH2zAfwgeX2Bb661SIKqrOAYvOwO2X UvTkx4s8su/VfVYaLtRVUuwTXoGWmSjZhg/1498SVWMP/YZN1p2ON3D0yfRNAy/J77C7 OeiCe85IhVYCntsayQev4UsB5owJqn8e0Z9JA=
X-Google-DKIM-Signature: v=1; a=rsa-sha256; c=relaxed/relaxed;; s=20130820; h=x-gm-message-state:mime-version:in-reply-to:references:date :message-id:subject:from:to:cc; bh=kurjVNsVP6FUZwGp6qERnrp3zzGEjOd4UnkyrklM1/4=; b=TiUEwKDpMfMFV9m9AK45oI2Ij+rVb1BaNgaIdkYoREOWpMleioD+/cKER7fEE5tXkG vzQwXFjRx/S1fZlDSecCykrX91mstFuBYfERTJYDB+AJuJgfh520jKq6p9Xgdawva6L/ jGwIPucdf6zOT/bkHV8MGppZPZr2Jz449zgUJLg6zx0gGKDgJ2aZqu84qjZKAaJ46OHN 3z1HHgxty6qk91laSe8OfWoeyFegITKKhyYHhl5Q77lgoFj+XRFfaVq40P7cbNzVT0fQ 7JBDXqeGaNR0y0/BEahKMoebRQJ2g7OHpo4/Wu7S5PXserkK2DsQQ4yPrGH9RtFwhaI+ E7yw==
X-Gm-Message-State: AD7BkJLKARNLpkzQGxdyxWNh8ejAfQilwiOiIqEyEqXEf/wGbSg2w6v2bxd91j6WCGD3uBE75gvhIbByCJtwzUg+
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Received: by with SMTP id m15mr101357wmb.60.1457024311297; Thu, 03 Mar 2016 08:58:31 -0800 (PST)
Received: by with HTTP; Thu, 3 Mar 2016 08:58:31 -0800 (PST)
In-Reply-To: <>
References: <> <>
Date: Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:58:31 +0000
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: I-D Action: draft-hansen-nonkeywords-non2119-04.txt
From: Dave Cridland <>
To: Dave Crocker <>
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="001a1144294c812512052d27e85f"
Archived-At: <>
Cc: IETF Discussion <>
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.15
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF-Discussion <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Thu, 03 Mar 2016 16:58:34 -0000

On 3 March 2016 at 07:01, Dave Crocker <> wrote:

> Folks,
> G'day.  We'd like to see whether there is interest in getting the enclosed
> published.
> It's meant as a helpful suggestion for avoiding possible confusion in the
> use of vocabulary the IETF treats as normative.
> The latest version works a bit harder to avoid appearing, itself, to be
> giving normative direction...

It's not entirely clear to me that if a specification says "support for
FOOBAR is necessary in order to support BLURDYBLOOP", that this is anything
different from "implementations MUST support FOOBAR in order to support
BLURDYBLOOP". The latter is easier to spot, of course, and might well be
preferable for that reason alone, but I would expect an implementer to
treat the two with equal weight.

RFC 2119 is, I have always assumed, for clarification of intent when making
normative statements, rather than the only way of making something
normative. This draft appears to imply, for example in the final sentence
of §4, that the RFC 2119 keywords have a particular standing in terms of
normativity. Some of the suggested alternatives are effectively stating
normative requirements; at the very least the uses when one does not intend
normative meaning are not the first things that spring to mind.

That said, providing suggested alternate phrasing when one explicitly does
not wish to evoke the meaning given in RFC 2119 is a useful thing; but
perhaps some examples of non-normative use of the English words (and
suitable rephrasings) might help reduce any confusion. "May be aware",
"must consider", "should prove useful", etc.

Also, I was going to suggest you might not mean "verbiage"; but then I
discovered the US meaning. The rest of the English-speaking world
exclusively uses the meaning of "excessively lengthy or technical speech or
writing". "Wording" or "phrasing" might work just as well, without the
alternate meaning.