Re: [quicwg/base-drafts] Make transport parameter ID and length varint (#3294)

Marten Seemann <> Thu, 12 December 2019 04:25 UTC

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Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2019 20:25:49 -0800
From: Marten Seemann <>
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Subject: Re: [quicwg/base-drafts] Make transport parameter ID and length varint (#3294)
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In addition to the points that @nibanks mentioned, there's another advantage of defining our own format for transport parameters: 

- We can require the list to be ordered by parameter ID (I've suggested this before somewhere, but #3169 doesn't yet incorporate this suggestion).

This would make the detection of duplicate parameters (which is now just a SHOULD due to the computational complexity) trivial, and would allow us to turn the SHOULD into a MUST. Furthermore, it reduces the profiling surface exposed by a QUIC implementation: I would assume that today it's probably possible to identify a QUIC implementation just by looking at the order of the transport parameters it sends.


> I see that some people are arguing that the encoding can be different based on the view that TP belongs to QUIC. I dispute that. We deliberately decided to mix crypto handshake and transport negotiation in QUIC. TP is a cross-layer thing that is exchanged during the TLS handshake.

I disagree with this statement. The reason we're putting transport parameters into the TLS handshake is because they're sent in Initial and that's basically the only way we can detect a modification by an on-path attacker. By putting them into the TLS handshake they become part of the transcript and therefore prevents this attack.
If there was a way to send transport parameters in encrypted packets, there would be no reason not to define a QUIC SETTINGS frame for them.

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