Re: BCP97bis

John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com> Mon, 18 October 2021 14:20 UTC

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Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2021 10:20:22 -0400
From: John C Klensin <john-ietf@jck.com>
To: "Murray S. Kucherawy" <superuser@gmail.com>
cc: Russ Housley <housley@vigilsec.com>, Carsten Bormann <cabo@tzi.org>, IETF <ietf@ietf.org>
Subject: Re: BCP97bis
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--On Sunday, October 17, 2021 21:28 -0700 "Murray S. Kucherawy"
<superuser@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Oct 17, 2021 at 7:42 PM John C Klensin
> <john-ietf@jck.com> wrote:
> 
>> > What did you mean by "in which document's categories the
>> > reference falls"?
>> 
>> In essence, the descriptions in your sections 4.2, 5, and 6
>> create categories of downrefs. I'd be inclined to divide 6
>> into two subcategories, one for what we have called
>> "recognized standards bodies" in other contexts and one for
>> other types of external references.  Either way, I think that
>> categorization could be very helpful going forward and I was
>> suggesting that it should be included in the registry.

> Do we have a good definition of "recognized standards bodies"
> anywhere? This has come up recently in other contexts (e.g.,
> RFC 6838) recently and I'm wondering if there's an actual
> definition somewhere that I don't know about.  In particular,
> what defines "recognized"?

I think it went into the vocabulary with media type
registrations (the predecessors of 6839) in which requests from
such standards bodies, presumably for identifiers to support
their work or defined by their standards, were (and are) given
special treatment.  Who qualified (or not) was left to the
discretion of the IESG.  The assumption was that the IESG would
consider many of the issues we have been talking about in the
context of BCP97bis: Is the body established, recognized, and
credible?  It is likely to be around for a while? Are their
specifications "widely and freely available" (even if not free)?

Should the criteria for "recognized" be the same for downrefs as
for media types?  I assume at least similar but don't know
beyond that (and suspect we would get into trouble by trying to
spell things out too much).

As we try to make these things more precise and mechanical,
there is another issue with "freely available" for which it
might be useful to draw on the thinking in our patent policies.
A WG is allowed to consider a possible standard built on
patented and highly restricted technologies (e.g., you are going
to need a license that may cost big bucks, and you have no
guarantees that you will get one or that you will get the same
terms as your competitor).  They are expected to carefully
consider less restricted technologies but, if they (and the
community) conclude that the restricted technology is enough
better than any of the alternatives, they are allowed to go
ahead.  Perhaps we need provision for exceptions, on a similar
basis to the downref rules.  Trying to lay out rigid rules that
have no exceptions may be a bad idea.

best,
   john



> 
> Has there been a need previously to have a downref registry
> for things external to the IETF?  The current registry only
> has RFCs in it.
> 
> -MSK