Re: [nfsv4] Issue with rfc7530

Trond Myklebust <trondmy@hammerspace.com> Sun, 05 May 2024 20:06 UTC

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From: Trond Myklebust <trondmy@hammerspace.com>
To: "davenoveck@gmail.com" <davenoveck@gmail.com>, "nfsv4@ietf.org" <nfsv4@ietf.org>
Thread-Topic: [nfsv4] Issue with rfc7530
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Date: Sun, 05 May 2024 20:05:55 +0000
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Subject: Re: [nfsv4] Issue with rfc7530
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On Sun, 2024-05-05 at 06:49 -0400, David Noveck wrote:
I'm working on the next draft of the internationalization and there is some text in rfc7530 that had been carried over in previous internationalization drafts hat will soon need to be dealt with in a different way, for reasons  explained below.  This message is a heads-up to the group about this change, andI would like to hear from anybody who has knowledge of or concerns about the cited text to contact me ASAP.

To help provide context, I am working on a personal draft, draft-dnoveck-nfsv4-i18n-extrevtry-00 to explore our options in dealing with the set of differing external reviews we have received regarding draft-ietf-nfsv4-internationalization. I intend to submit this draft before the 5/21 interim.  If we decide that this is the right way to go forward, then I intend to base draft-ietf-nfsv4-internationalization-08 on this personal draft.

The text in question is in section 12.3 and reads as follows:

It is possible for a server to allow component names that are not
valid UTF-8, while still being aware of the structure of UTF-8
strings.  Such servers could implement either normalization or
representation-independent lookups but apply those techniques only
to valid UTF-8 strings.  Such servers are not common, but it is
possible to configure at least one known server to have this
behavior.  This behavior SHOULD NOT be used due to the possibility
that a filename using one character set may, by coincidence,
have the appearance of a UTF-8 filename; the results of UTF-8
normalization or representation-independent lookups are
unlikely to be correct in all cases with respect to the other
 character set.

The underlined text cannot be continued in the new internationalization document for a number of reasons:

  *   The use of the term "SHOULD NOT" suggests, according to RFC 2119, that there are valid reasons to use the behavior recommended against and I don't see what such valid reasons might be.
  *   Given that we are  dealing now with all minor versions, the presence of NFSv4.1 raises the issue of how such fs's report their UTF8-awareness, since, so far as can be determined, the attribute fs_charset_cap has no way to tell a client it it will not reject non-UTF8-encoded names and still is aware of the encoding used and can act on it in establishing equivalence classes of names with regard to normalization and case-insensitivity.
  *   Given our intention to address Nico's insight regarding negative name caching in the presence of server-implemented name string equivalence classes (i.e. that the client can't do this without knowledge of the server's sting equivalence relations), if this behavior were considered valid, the n negative name caching would be rendered unusable for all NFSv4 filesystems, since there is no way to determine whether a given file system was of this happens. r

As it happens, some necessary document re-organization has eliminated the cited text from the current text that I intend to submit as
draft-dnoveck-nfsv4-i18n-extrevtry-00 and people can address that reorganization once the draft is submitted.  In any case, whether that reorganization continues as-is or not, the issue to be resolved is whether the behavior cited needs to be considered valid or not,, so that, if it is mentioned "MUST NOT"
would be the term to be used.   Given that the citation of this behavior is introduced by "possible to configure" rather "has been configured" or "is being configured" suggests to me that there is little interest in maintaining this as valid behavior going forward, it would be helpful to hear from those who have knowledge regarding the server/filesystem pair referred to.
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POSIX filesystems do not have any restrictions on their names, and I see no interest from that community in changing that status quo. Consequently, I see no value in rehashing this topic here.
We've gone over this way too many times, and the rough consensus has always been that there is no consensus for trying to litigate UTF-8 normalization through the NFSv4 spec. Any normative language that tries to do so will be contested, and in the worst case, will be ignored by clients which need to conform to the POSIX spec, as is the case for Linux.

Yes, we know that negative caching sucks for case sensitive filesystems. That's already the case, and we already deal with it in the Linux client.


--

Trond Myklebust
Linux NFS client maintainer, Hammerspace
trond.myklebust@hammerspace.com<mailto:trond.myklebust@primarydata.com>