Re: New Version Notification for draft-leiba-rfc2119-update-00.txt

Gmail <stewart.bryant@gmail.com> Sat, 13 August 2016 07:28 UTC

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From: Gmail <stewart.bryant@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: New Version Notification for draft-leiba-rfc2119-update-00.txt
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2016 08:28:29 +0100
To: Pete Resnick <presnick@qti.qualcomm.com>
Archived-At: <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/ietf/ZSKQw8SP-QSTMaForY1XvySP4yc>
Cc: Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>, IETF discussion list <ietf@ietf.org>
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> On 13 Aug 2016, at 00:13, Pete Resnick <presnick@qti.qualcomm.com> wrote:
> 
> On 11 Aug 2016, at 6:44, Stewart Bryant wrote:
> 
> Optional is useful in a requirements RFC.
> 
> Feature x is REQUIRED
> 
> Feature y is OPTIONAL
> 
> One last (and perhaps fruitless) attempt to keep this section and deprecate the adjectives:
> 
> Using REQUIRED and OPTIONAL results in exactly the problem of using passive voice anywhere: REQUIRED by whom?
> 
I could have said:

Foo is a REQUIRED feature of a complete implementation of this specification.

Perhaps I used too small an illustrative fragment. As to passive voice, it seems that many, including myself, prefer this style of technical writing.

> OPTIONAL for whom? If you say, "A MUST do X and B MAY do Y", it is perfectly clear which actor is responsible (and in network protocols there are inevitably at least 2). If you say "X is REQUIRED and Y is OPTIONAL", you'll end up needing more text to explain the actors and their roles.
> 
> Using REQUIRED and OPTIONAL is lazy. It makes specs less clear. They ought to be dropped.
> 
That really is not true when listing requirements, as is illustrated later in the thread.

Stewart


> pr
> -- 
> Pete Resnick http://www.qualcomm.com/~presnick/
> Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. - +1 (858)651-4478