Re: [nbs] [Int-area] New draft related to name-based sockets

Pete McCann <> Thu, 09 December 2010 19:04 UTC

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Date: Thu, 9 Dec 2010 13:06:18 -0600
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From: Pete McCann <>
To: Joe Touch <>
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Subject: Re: [nbs] [Int-area] New draft related to name-based sockets
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Hi, Joe,

Thanks for the issue list and the pointers to drafts.

I agree that backwards compatibility is an issue, if we are blindly
opening connections to previously unknown peers.  However, in
the pickle packet framework, opening a connection would always
be preceded by a DNS lookup for the TXT record at which, if present, would be an indication
that the peer supports the new extensions.  So, I think there is
little danger of running into the issues you cite.

You might say that this is equivalent to defining a new transport,
but I think it's important to keep the protocol number 6 because
that is what today's middleboxes will pass.


On Thu, Dec 9, 2010 at 12:24 PM, Joe Touch <> wrote:
> On 12/8/2010 7:43 PM, Pete McCann wrote:
>> Hi, Joe,
>> Thanks - can you elucidate or send a pointer to the issues with
>> putting data in the SYN?  Are you worried that some middleboxes
>> will have problems and drop such packets?
> There was a discussion a few years back on this list on various ways to
> extend the space for TCP options, which are most limited in SYNs.
> The general problem is backward compatibility; that data cannot be assumed
> to be ignored by endpoints that don't support the option. TCP is required to
> ignore unknown options, and when it does, it would start a connection and
> interpret the options as data.
> An additional problem is that many implementations simply discard SYN data,
> to reduce the amount of state until the connection handshake finishes.
> I'm speaking most specifically of issues with putting options in the SYN
> data; there are other problems with putting options in the payload data.
> Further, since this option can't be rejected by a legacy endpoint per se,
> the initiator needs to then stop the connection after receiving the SYN-ACK.
> Doing so without leaving state on the other end requires a RST, but that has
> other potential problems (RST gets lost, other end resends the SYN-ACK),
> etc.
> So the key questions are:
> - can TCP option space be extended without negatively impacting legacy
> implementations, in a way that isn't equivalent to creating a new transport
> anyway?
>> I'd be particularly interested if you can point me at some of these
>> prior proposals.
> (if there are others, can others post?)
> Joe