Re: Alternative Proposal for Two-Stage IETF Standardization

Dave CROCKER <> Thu, 11 November 2010 06:47 UTC

Return-Path: <>
Received: from localhost (localhost []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id EB8013A68A7 for <>; Wed, 10 Nov 2010 22:47:31 -0800 (PST)
X-Virus-Scanned: amavisd-new at
X-Spam-Flag: NO
X-Spam-Score: -6.562
X-Spam-Status: No, score=-6.562 tagged_above=-999 required=5 tests=[AWL=0.038, BAYES_00=-2.599, RCVD_IN_DNSWL_MED=-4]
Received: from ([]) by localhost ( []) (amavisd-new, port 10024) with ESMTP id vZ-iYdN2576e for <>; Wed, 10 Nov 2010 22:47:28 -0800 (PST)
Received: from ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id BB2513A67DA for <>; Wed, 10 Nov 2010 22:47:25 -0800 (PST)
Received: from [] ( []) (authenticated bits=0) by (8.13.8/8.13.8) with ESMTP id oAB6ljlj013510 (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=AES256-SHA bits=256 verify=NO); Wed, 10 Nov 2010 22:47:53 -0800
Message-ID: <>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 14:47:40 +0800
From: Dave CROCKER <>
Organization: Brandenburg InternetWorking
User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101027 Thunderbird/3.1.6
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: IETF Discussion <>
Subject: Re: Alternative Proposal for Two-Stage IETF Standardization
References: <> <> <>
In-Reply-To: <>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Greylist: Sender succeeded SMTP AUTH, not delayed by milter-greylist-4.0 ( []); Wed, 10 Nov 2010 22:47:55 -0800 (PST)
X-Mailman-Version: 2.1.9
Precedence: list
List-Id: IETF-Discussion <>
List-Unsubscribe: <>, <>
List-Archive: <>
List-Post: <>
List-Help: <>
List-Subscribe: <>, <>
X-List-Received-Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 06:47:32 -0000


On 11/11/2010 12:25 PM, Dave CROCKER wrote:
> To establish the base: It is not possible to achieve widespread use on the
> Internet without having multiple components interacting. That's called
> interoperability.
> However, the interoperability might be among components that are clones of a
> single code base.
> So our language needs to be enhanced to cover multiple implementations. And as
> long as the language hood is up, we might as well put in a turbo-booster that
> asserts the higher octane 'interoperability' word.

A hallway conversation with Russ added an item that simply had not occurred to me:

    There might be multiple implementations that rely on on undocumented 
modifications of the spec.  This means that an additional, interoperable 
implementation cannot be made purely from the specification.

Again, I believe the requirement for the document is "merely" to get the wording 
right.  I do not believe any of us differ on the actual meaning we are trying to 
achieve.  That is, I have not seen anything that indicates we have disparity 
about the intended requirement.

Test language: (*)

      (Full) Internet Standard:

      The Internet community achieves rough consensus -- on using
      the multiple, independent implementations of a specification


      3.3.  [Full] Internet Standard (IS)

      This is the existing final standards status, based on attainment of
      significant community acceptance, as demonstrated by use of multiple,
      independent implementations that conform to the specification.


ps.  I just realized that the original language that Russ cited said "on using 
the running code of a specification".  "Of a specification" explicitly means 
that the stuff that is running is the spec and, therefore, can't really mean 
that it's using hallway agreements.  (However I think it's dandy to make the 
Section 3.3 language bullet-proofed against creative misunderstanding.)

(*) This is just from me; it hasn't been vetted with my co-authors.


   Dave Crocker
   Brandenburg InternetWorking