Re: [secdir] draft-ietf-appsawg-json-pointer-07 SECDIR Review

Donald Eastlake <> Wed, 02 January 2013 05:18 UTC

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From: Donald Eastlake <>
Date: Wed, 02 Jan 2013 00:18:19 -0500
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To: Mark Nottingham <>
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Subject: Re: [secdir] draft-ietf-appsawg-json-pointer-07 SECDIR Review
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Hi Mark,

On Tue, Jan 1, 2013 at 11:12 PM, Mark Nottingham <> wrote:
> Thanks for the review; replies below.
> On 31/12/2012, at 2:11 PM, Donald Eastlake <> wrote:
>> I have reviewed this document as part of the security directorate's
>> ongoing effort to review all IETF documents being processed by the
>> IESG.  Document editors and WG chairs should treat these comments just
>> like any other last call comments.
>> This draft describes two closely related syntaxes for pointers to
>> objects within a JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) document. One is a
>> JSON string syntax, the other is a URI fragment identifier for URIs
>> defined to take such a fragment identifier.
>> Security:
>> I do not see any security problems with this document. The syntax
>> appears to be unambiguously specified, including ABNF, and the
>> Security Considerations Section is adequate and touches on the
>> potential pit-falls that JSON pointers can contain NULs.
>> Miscellaneous:
>> I found significant ambiguity in the semantics of a JSON pointer
>> string. Is the result of the successful evaluation ("evaluation" is a
>> term used in the draft) of such a pointer string a structure that
>> points into a JSON document or is it the objection pointed to? It
>> mostly seems to be an object but it is specifically provided that
>> array references could point beyond the end of an array and at least
>> in that case perhaps some sort of pointer structure would be returned
>> with the error condition. It probably doesn't matter, because these
>> syntaxes are intended to be used in a variety of applications and it
>> will be up to the application to clarify the semantics.
> I think it's purposefully ambiguous, to accommodate a variety of applications.


>> Minor:
>> The expansion for the acronym JSON should be given in the title and abstract.
> In SVN.

What does that mean? If you mean to say that you agree with the change
suggested and that it will be in the next version posted, you should
say that.

>> In the first line of the second paragraph of Section 6, I found the
>> word "nominate" kind of odd. Why not "specify" or "select" or "use"?
> In SVN.

Same response as above.

>> None of the Authors Addresses given includes a postal address.
> Yes.

I think they should. I find that such corner cutting typically goes
with other sloppiness.

 Donald E. Eastlake 3rd   +1-508-333-2270 (cell)
 155 Beaver Street, Milford, MA 01757 USA

> --
> Mark Nottingham