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

Russ Housley <> Thu, 19 June 2008 02:41 UTC

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Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2008 22:35:59 -0400
From: Russ Housley <>
Subject: Re: Appeal against IESG blocking DISCUSS on draft-klensin-rfc2821bis
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Insanity?  I think not.  Maybe you made the comment to get me post to 
this thread.  If so, it worked.

You are missing a few things that I consider to be relevant and important.

- We're talking about rfc2821bis (not RFC 2821 or RFC 821).

- The examples in RFC 821 use different domains from the ones in RFC 2821.

If the document were being advanced to Draft Standard with no changes 
at all, then I think it would be unreasonable to anyone ask for a 
change to address this issue.  However, other changes were deemed 
necessary.  Given that situation, it seems appropriate to consider 
current guidance.  This guidance is referenced in the appeal. The I-D 
Checklist (IDnits,, Section 6, says:

    Addresses used in examples SHOULD preferably use
    fully qualified domain names instead of literal IP
    addresses, and preferably use example fqdn's such as instead of real-world fqdn's.

RFC 2119 has a pretty clear definition of "SHOULD".  It says:

    This word, or the adjective "RECOMMENDED", mean that there
    may exist valid reasons in particular circumstances to ignore a
    particular item, but the full implications must be understood and
    carefully weighed before choosing a different course.

This document uses "" and "" as 
examples.  The authors want to leave these as a  tribute to 
Jon.  Fine.  I think the implications of these are well understood.

This document also uses "", "", "", "", 
and "" in examples.  I have not heard anyone offer "valid 
reasons" for using them instead of the ones in BCP 37.  I have heard 
people say that they are not causing harm.  That is not the same.  We 
have seen examples that use real IP addresses and domain names cause 
harm.  The excessive traffic sent to one NTP server comes to mind.

The IESG has been using DISCUSS positions since before 2003 to remove 
real domain names.  I'm sure that some have slipped through.  A 
couple have been pointed out in this thread.

So, Bob, the situation is not as simple as your message might indicate.


At 12:44 PM 6/18/2008, Bob Hinden wrote:
>Let me see if I understand this.
>- This is the specification for SMTP.  It's was first used on the
>- It is probably as widely deployed as IP and TCP.  Maybe more so.
>- It works (e.g., the email discussing this thread was sent via SMTP).
>- The IETF is now advancing it to Draft Standard.  I assume this means
>that we now have enough implementation experience.
>- Now the IESG doesn't want to approve it for Draft Standard because
>it is using a different set of example domains instead of the official
>IETF ones.
>Am I the only one who sees the insanity here?

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