Re: [secdir] SECDIR review of draft-ietf-httpauth-hoba-08.txt

Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org> Tue, 30 December 2014 19:48 UTC

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From: Barry Leiba <barryleiba@computer.org>
To: Stephen Farrell <stephen.farrell@cs.tcd.ie>
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Subject: Re: [secdir] SECDIR review of draft-ietf-httpauth-hoba-08.txt
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On just a couple of points...

>> Page 6/7/13, Figure 1/2/3: I'm not sure that something that is
>> entirely textural is best called a "Figure". But in any case, since
>> the text is, or at least has, lines that are flush left, it looks like
>> part of the preceding text and there isn't a clear demarcation of the
>> start. I recommend that the body of the Figures be indented 3 or 4
>> spaces.
>
> I'd prefer let the RFC editor fix those if needed.

I think that if we think a change in the formatting would make things
clearer, we should do that ourselves, and not defer it to the RFC
Editor.  *We* should be happy with the document before we send it
over.

>> Page 19, IANA Considerations: It seems from
>> draft-leiba-coton-iana-5226bis that IANA would prefer IANA
>> Considerations to be written in the past tense as if the actions had
>> already been accomplished, presumably to minimize IANA re-writing
>> effort. Thus, I suggest that consideration be given to changing the
>> initial part, between the Section 9 heading and the Section 9.1
>> heading, to the following and making similar changes in the remainder
>> of the IANA Considerations Section:

I'm with Stephen here: please leave this alone.  At this point, the
document is making a request, and that's a fine way to put it.

>> Page 20, Section 9.4: Suggest the "Meaning" for 2 be "an unformatted
>> UTF8 string". There should probably be a Reference column. "a small
>> positive integer" is undefined.
>
> Oh come on. Small positive integer utterly clear as is unformatted
> string in this context. UTF8 isn't needed here as this is not meant
> to be seen by a user.

With this and all other strings, the question isn't whether users are
going to see it or not, but how implementors are supposed to know what
a "string" is and how to create it.  If it's an arbitrary sequence of
bytes, then it should say that, rather than "string".  If it's really
a string and is meant to represent characters in some encoding system,
then it needs to say either what encoding system that is (UTF-8,
US-ASCII, or whatever) or that it doesn't matter and that any encoding
can be used.  The latter only works if the string is never consumed by
an entity other than the one that created it.

Barry