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

Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com> Wed, 10 August 2016 12:55 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Aug 2016 08:54:51 -0400
Message-ID: <CAPt1N1n0_npTVkZQxzcibcx7xbJDEvLf4u7hept22Jih+eiqrg@mail.gmail.com>
Subject: Re: New Version Notification for draft-leiba-rfc2119-update-00.txt
To: John Leslie <john@jlc.net>
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Cc: Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>, IETF discussion list <ietf@ietf.org>
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I think it's generally a bad idea to assume that everybody's implicit
assumptions about process match what the people who wrote the process
documents envisioned.   It's better to be explicit.

On Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 8:37 AM, John Leslie <john@jlc.net> wrote:

> Stewart Bryant <stewart.bryant@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > Having thought a little more about this, I am wondering about
> > unintended consequences in the 5K documents that we have
> > written since RFC2119 was published.
>
>    Actually, there is an obvious meaning of citing RFC xxxx or BCX xx:
> which implies, "at the time of this publication".
>
>    Nonetheless, I urge including text if leiba-rfc2119-update becomes an
> RFC: stating that going forward, a reference to RFC 2119 will continue
> to include-by-reference RFC 2119 as published, whereas a reference to
> BCP 14 will include-by-reference whatever BCP 14 may be (or have been)
> at the time any RFC referencing it is published.
>
>    (This really doesn't change much of anything; but the opportunity for
> confusion is _so_ great that I'm sure it will arise.)
>
>    We must leave it to the RFC Editor to do whatever _can_ be done to
> ensure that nobody "unintentionally" cites RFC 2119 or BCP 14 in such
> a way as to cause further confusion.
>
> > If we effectively change RFC2119 as we propose, is there a danger that
> > readers will incorrectly interpret old text with new semantics.
>
>    RFC 2119 _cannot_ change.
>
>    Nor, alas, _can_ we change the confusion in existing documents which
> cite RFC 2119.
>
>    We can only reduce that confusion going forward -- and that only if
> the RFC Editor agrees to discourage citing RFC 2119 in future documents.
>
> > I have no idea whether anything of significance will occur but
> > considering the thought put into terms like SHOULD there exists a risk
> > that would be mitigated if we picked a new RFC number whereupon the
> > reader would know which definition the writers and reviewers were using.
>
>    I would have recommended this, too, if I were writing the document.
> But I stand by my previous statement: we can only reduce the confusion
> if the RFC Editor discourages citing RFC 2119 after draft-leiba becomes
> an RFC.
>
> --
> John Leslie <john@jlc.net>
>
>