Re: [quicwg/base-drafts] It seems the minimal packet number length should be 14 bits (#2955)

Martin Thomson <> Tue, 06 August 2019 07:52 UTC

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From: Martin Thomson <>
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Subject: Re: [quicwg/base-drafts] It seems the minimal packet number length should be 14 bits (#2955)
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First, there is no 7-bit encoding.  It's 8 bits, 16, 24, and 32.

Also, there is no guarantee that following the advice in the spec is sufficient either.  You can diligently follow the spec requirements and still have <1RTT worth of reordering cause problems if you suddenly increase the rate of sending packets.  If you were sending 8-bit packet numbers, then you suddenly send far more than 128 packets within an RTT, a strict interpretation of the spec might still lead to most of those packets being sent with 8-bit packet numbers.  If any of those packets with 8-bit numbers is reordered/delayed by more than 127 packets, then it will be decoded incorrectly when it arrives.

That leads to spurious loss, which is repaired very quickly, but it is less than optimal.  To do this perfectly, you have to predict future send rates, which is hard.

But we have discussed this in the past.  I don't see any new information either.  I'm going to recommend no action on this one.

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