[quicwg/base-drafts] Consider making SETTINGS part of the control stream header (#2783)

Lucas Pardue <notifications@github.com> Tue, 11 June 2019 13:21 UTC

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Subject: [quicwg/base-drafts] Consider making SETTINGS part of the control stream header (#2783)
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Right now we have a SETTINGS frame that can only be sent once (in each direction), and if it is sent it has to be sent at a very precise point (the start of the stream) or the connection is bust. 

For these reasons, it strikes me that we could simplify things, in line with **today's** HTTP/3 design, by unframing settings and placing them as the control stream header. For illustration this would look something like below, where Identifier and Value can be sent multiple times.

0                   1                   2                   3
 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1
|                           0x00 (i)                          ...
|                          Setting Length (i)             ...
|                        Identifier (i)                       ...
|                           Value (i)                         ...

* Simplifies some parts of error handling. 
  - The HTTP_MISSING_SETTINGS snowflake becomes redundant
  - Not possible to send multiple SETTINGS on the control stream to trigger HTTP_UNEXPECTED_FRAME
  - Not possible to send a SETTINGS frame on the wrong stream to trigger HTTP_WRONG_STREAM 
* A peer that is happy with defaults can send 00 (2 bytes) rather than 040 (3 bytes). This is a tinsy tiny benefit
* Forces endpoints to commit to SETTINGS very early (this is of dubious benefit if SETTINGS only loosen values)

* We already have implementations that handle SETTINGS just fine
* Keeping the frame allows us change today's design to allow multiple SETTINGS in the future.

The arguments for and against seem to net out evenly. Changing control stream seems like a cleaner design to me but shipping is a feature :tm: .

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