Re: Introducing draft-6man-addresspartnaming

Karl Auer <> Fri, 08 April 2011 08:03 UTC

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Subject: Re: Introducing draft-6man-addresspartnaming
From: Karl Auer <>
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Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2011 18:05:15 +1000
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On Fri, 2011-04-08 at 04:03 +0200, Richard Hartmann wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 03:54, Karl Auer <>; wrote:
> If you look at -02 of the initial draft, you will find a full list.

OK. I've read it and find many of the arguments to be generally
unconvincing. Right with you on "chazwazza" though :-)

If the draft is to document what amounts to a popularity contest for a
word, then that's fine, but it would be more honest if it said so,
rather than presenting such thin arguments. If there are going to be
arguments for and against, they need to be considerably stronger and
more relevant than most of those offered in -02.

My argument against "hextet" is simple. It is not a legitimate
abbreviation of "hexadectet" for two reasons. Firstly, you can't
abbreviate "hexadec-" because to do so changes it's meaning from "16-"
to "because, along the model of "quintet", "septet" and "octet" (and to
a lesser extent triplet), the word "hextet" strongly suggests a set of
six things. In contrast to blander options like "chunk" "field" and
"segment", it is misleading - there may be zero to four hex digits
between two colons, and there are three to eight colon-delimited parts
in an IPv6 address. There is no "sixness" in what the word is trying to

The argument about uniqueness and context is covered below.

> ahead of all other options. FWIW, hextet is the short form of
> hexadectet.

Well, thanks be! :-) It's still bad though.

> Field is overloaded and not unique. If anything you would have to say
> "IPv6 field" which is bulky and context-sensitive.

Not at all. There are literally tens of thousands of words in English
alone that are not unique in meaning and require context to be properly
understood. "Field" is one of them - so are "address", "bit" and
"colon", for that matter. In the context of IPv6 addresses, there would
be no more ambiguity with "field" than there would be for, say, "bit",
which could mean "a binary digit" or "a small piece" unless qualified by

  "Er, which bit of the address are we talking about, Marvin?"
  "The interface ID, Trevor; the bit after the prefix."
  "Oh, right, you mean the bit starting at bit 65?"
  "Yeah, though we could move back a couple of bits to give
      us a bit more room in the subnet, I suppose."
  "That'd be a bit pointless though, wouldn't it?"
  "Well, yeah, a bit."

"Hextet" is jargon for the sake of jargon. IMHO.

> > An invented word, [...] is most unlikely to be generally adopted.
> Why? It's a unique identifier without pre-existing meaning in the
> relevant context.

No point arguing about whether it will or will not be adopted. Let's see
if anyone is calling them hextets five years from now. My money is on

> In somewhat unrelated news, "Karl Auer" is a famous persona of a
> German comedian. I doubt you named yourself after him, but I always
> wondered and context is fitting, atm.

I'm named Karl after my father. Auer is a pretty common Austrian
surname. Apart from the comedian, there's a quite famous furniture
designer called Karl Auer, a chemist/physicist who was Baron von
Welsbach (sadly no relation), and a Waffen-SS Sturmbannfuehrer and
recipient of the Iron Cross (happily no relation). And if you say my
name quickly, you get "kalauer", which is the German word for a stale
joke :-)

Regards, K.

Karl Auer (                   +61-2-64957160 (h)                   +61-428-957160 (mob)

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