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

Dave Cridland <> Wed, 18 June 2008 22:07 UTC

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Subject: RE: Appeal against IESG blocking DISCUSS on draft-klensin-rfc2821bis
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Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 11:39:01 +0100
From: Dave Cridland <>
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Cc: 'John C Klensin' <>, 'Pete Resnick' <>,,
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On Tue Jun 17 15:50:02 2008, Debbie Garside wrote:
> Not being a expert on this but having briefly read the documents in
> question, I agree with Brian.  This is not editorial.

Well, people have commented that changing the examples will hardly  
break the Internet mail system, so it seems reasonable to assert that  
the counter-argument is also true. In other words, NOT changing the  
examples will also not break Internet mail. However, I couldn't  
really care what the examples say, as long as they're good, clear  
examples, and I think they are.

>  I would also add that
> to go against an IETF BCP

Ah, wait - the document in question is not a missive from the mount  
stating "Thou SHALT use everywhere", it says "The IETF  
said, 'Let there be reserved domain names for examples'; and there  

(I'm translating the documents into language more suitable for the  
religious tracts some people appear to think they are - at this rate,  
I'm fully expecting future editions to include marginalia comencing  
"Once, a student asked the Postel ...")

But the facts are that nobody is "going against" the BCP. The  
examples in the document don't take advantage of the facilities  
provided by the BCP, but that's different.

>  on the grounds of "well we have done so already
> historically" does not make an argument for continuing to do so;

Perhaps your implication that, irrespective of the past behaviour, we  
should create such a rule is sensible...

>  errors
> should be corrected when found, not endorsed.

... but until we do, it is not an error, and - crucially - we should  
not expect nor allow the IESG to decide on a whim what is and is not  
an error.

>   If we are to pick and choose
> which RFC's/BCP's we will take notice of what is the point of
> standardization? 

Well, indeed, bravo, and well spoken - that's what John's appeal is  
about - what's the point of having procedures and policies at all if  
the IESG can say "I must reject your document; it is purple. No  
purple documents on Wednesdays, for lo, I have spoken."

You may think I'm making light of this - and I am, because I think  
it's a remarkably silly stance from the IESG - but if you can explain  
the difference between rejecting all purple documents on Wednesdays  
and rejecting documents that do not use RFC 2606, I'll be most  

> On the face of things, and with my little knowledge, I
> would say that the person within the IESG who has invoked the  
> quite correct.
And I reckon they're talking bananas.

It doesn't matter, incidentally, whether you consider the use of to be a good idea or not. I do, although I note that the  
XSF's tradition of using a fictional ".lit" TLD with example domains  
taken from Shakespeare's plays is actually considerably more  
readable, but anyway, I'd be perfectly happy if the IESG made a  
statement that as of now, documents which use domains other than  
those present in RFC 2606 will not be acceptable.

But I note that there is no such statement from the IESG, so I'm  
personally not clear about whether there even is such a policy, or  
upon which days of the week it applies - for all I know, given the  
lack of statements made by the IESG on RFC 2606 names, these may be  
mandated only for purple documents submitted on Wednesdays. And those  
aren't allowed, as previously discussed. (And yeah, I know, but  
consider this - if I say that the IESG say that purple documents are  
not allowed on Wednesdays, that gives that equal weight with the  
alledged RFC 2606 rule - the IESG has not made any statement, we've  
only heard about this informally via third parties).

What matters here is whether the IESG is allowed to introduce and  
enforce a rule with the same action. I do not believe they should be  
allowed to.

Even on Wednesdays.

Dave Cridland - -
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