Re: [sip-ops] SIP OPTIONS "ping"

"Paul E. Jones" <> Fri, 13 August 2010 04:19 UTC

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From: "Paul E. Jones" <>
To: "'Brian Rosen'" <>
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Cc:, 'Hadriel Kaplan' <>,
Subject: Re: [sip-ops] SIP OPTIONS "ping"
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If I could, I'd revise RFC 3261.  It's that document that introduces the use
of OPTIONS as a "ping" mechanism, but gives little guidance to implementers
and, as such, implementations are all over the map.  I've seen at least 6
different variants implemented.


But, I think trying to revise RFC 3261 would open a can of worms.  So, I was
suggesting we progress this as standard track to update RFC 3261, but that
didn't happen.  I'm not trying to introduce anything new, though: just
clarify what should have been elaborated upon more fully in 3261.  Even so,
there are certainly points of contention, I'm sure, since folks do have it
implemented differently.




From: Brian Rosen [] 
Sent: Thursday, August 12, 2010 8:45 AM
To: Paul E. Jones
Cc:;; Hadriel Kaplan
Subject: Re: [sip-ops] SIP OPTIONS "ping"


I think this is needed, and I would go for informational.  While I sort of
understand that you are "pushing" the definition of OPTIONS, if it was PS,
you wouldn't update any RFCs, right?




On Aug 12, 2010, at 1:14 AM, Paul E. Jones wrote:



Gonzalo and I produced an Internet Draft aiming at trying to bring some
consistency to the way in which SIP user agents implement an OPTIONS "ping"
procedure.  It seems that a very large number of vendors do this, but
unfortunately, there seems to be little consistency.


Initially, we positioned the document as a standards track RFC, since this
essentially builds on RFC 3261.  However, there was some pushback from folks
in the IETF for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact
that there is no working group chartered to do the work.  We don't feel this
one draft warrants the creation of a working group.


So, we've got three options we can consider:

1)      Forge ahead outside of a working group

2)      Change the status of the draft to Informational

3)      Forget about the draft and let every SIP device do it the way they
want, throwing hope of consistency out the window


(Yeah, you can tell I prefer not to go for the third option.)


In any case, I'd like to get feedback from the on the SIP operators and SIP
implementers lists.  Do you think it's worth trying to address this issue?
If so, which option do you think we should pursue?


Note that we're certainly open to feedback on the draft.  I'd prefer it to
have a few more "MUST" statements in the text, rather than "SHOULD".  But,
we need to find that right balance:




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