Re: [netmod] Instance-data-format - shall we define etag and last-modified annotation ?

Balázs Lengyel <> Tue, 23 July 2019 14:11 UTC

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From: =?iso-8859-2?Q?Bal=E1zs_Lengyel?= <>
To: Juergen Schoenwaelder <>
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Thread-Topic: [netmod] Instance-data-format - shall we define etag and last-modified annotation ?
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Date: Tue, 23 Jul 2019 14:11:23 +0000
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Subject: Re: [netmod] Instance-data-format - shall we define etag and last-modified annotation ?
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Hello Jürgen,
Could the etag and last-modified annotations be moved to 6991bis?
Regards Balazs

-----Original Message-----
From: Juergen Schoenwaelder <> 
Sent: 2019. július 22., hétfő 16:15
To: Balázs Lengyel <>
Subject: Re: [netmod] Instance-data-format - shall we define etag and
last-modified annotation ?

On Mon, Jul 22, 2019 at 07:23:59PM +0000, Balázs Lengyel wrote:
> Hello,
> Restconf (rfc8040) defined to useful bits of metadata about a YANG 
> defined
> datastore: entity-tag and the last-modified timestamp.
> These can be very useful in instance data sets, however Restconf 
> defines an encoding for these (as part of the http headers) that can 
> not be used in instance-data-sets.

This may actually point out a flaw or omission of RFC 8527. RFC 8040 defines
an entity-tag for its "unified" datastore and it says "if the RESTCONF
server is co-located with a NETCONF server, then this entity-tag MUST be for
the "running" datastore". So it is a bit unclear what happens with other
NMDA datastores and I did not quickly find something in RFC 8527. (For
example, can have a distinct etag for <startup/>?
> draft-ietf-netmod-yang-instance-file-format-03#section-7.2
> section-7.2>     defines metadata annotations for these two, that can be
> used in instance data
>   md:annotation entity-tag {
>       type string;
>       description "Used to encode the entity-tag .";
>     }
>     md:annotation last-modified {
>       type yang:date-and-time;
>       description "Contains the date and time when the annotated
>         instance was last modified (or created).";
>     }
> In order to be able to include this data, the annotations need to be 
> defined in some YANG module.
> The question has been raised whether
> 1.	these annotations should be defined in the ietf-yang-instance-data
> module as it needs them, as that is open or
> 2.	the annotations should be defined in another draft in a separate
> YANG module as any other annotation
> The first option is better because the instance-data needs these 
> annotations, and at this point we see no other user for the 
> annotation, and in this case the ongoing instance data draft will 
> define it
> The second option is better because, if later there are other users 
> for these annotations, it might be strange to reference the 
> ietf-yang-instance-data module. Also why provide special treatment to 
> these
> 2 annotations?
> The authors support option 1 and don't have the time to start a new 
> draft to define these annotations.
> On IETF105 in the room there was more support for option 1. 
> Please indicate if you have an opinion about the choice of 1 or 2

Version -03 only defines these annotations but does not do anything specific
with these definitions. So if the annotations are defined elsewhere, the ID
is as complete as before. If entity-tag and last-modified are actually seen
as datastore properties, it would be nice to have them defined in the NMDA
documents (and it seems we overlooked this when we did the NMDA work).

I think this needs a bit of discussion whether these are actually seen as
datastore properties. But in this case, I would lean towards option 2.


Juergen Schoenwaelder           Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Phone: +49 421 200 3587         Campus Ring 1 | 28759 Bremen | Germany
Fax:   +49 421 200 3103         <>