Re: [tcpm] exegesis of 'Updates' -- was: ... review ofdraft-ietf-tcpm-tcpsecure[-10]

"Anantha Ramaiah (ananth)" <ananth@cisco.com> Tue, 30 September 2008 22:21 UTC

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Thread-Topic: [tcpm] exegesis of 'Updates' -- was: ... review ofdraft-ietf-tcpm-tcpsecure[-10]
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From: "Anantha Ramaiah (ananth)" <ananth@cisco.com>
To: =?iso-8859-1?Q?Alfred_H=CEnes?= <ah@tr-sys.de>, <tcpm@ietf.org>
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Subject: Re: [tcpm] exegesis of 'Updates' -- was: ... review ofdraft-ietf-tcpm-tcpsecure[-10]
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Alfred,
   Excellent points. I completley agree with your sentiments. Some notable excerpts from your below email (cut & pasted) which I fully support :

A)
 > Any implementor or analyst reading RFC 793 should be made 
> aware of the tcpsecure RFC, as soon as it is out (and I 
> really hope to see it soon in the RFC index!), because that 
> document contains qualified statements this working group has judged.
> [... in an incommensurate long period of discussion holding 
> off this long-expected document -- personal note.] He/she 
> should be pointed to this document by the RFC metadata, and 
> should read it (the latter seems to be the consensus of the 
> WG, isn't it?) -- otherwise publishing the document would be 
> rather moot.

B)
 > Don't forget:
> This WG is chartered for the *MAINTENANCE* of TCP.
> If you don't want to make that maintenace visible, you are in 
> danger to dismiss your mission (and the mission of the IETF 
> and its Standards Process).  Since RFCs are immutable, RFC 
> Errata and additions to the RFC metadata are the only ways to 
> make an act of maintenance for a document visible at first place.

C) 

> Therefore my recommendation:
> 
> +++   Be very careful with "Obsoletes", but be generous
> +++   with "Updates", for the benefit of RFC readers !
> 

Thanks,
-Anantha
> -----Original Message-----
> From: tcpm-bounces@ietf.org [mailto:tcpm-bounces@ietf.org] On 
> Behalf Of Alfred HÎnes
> Sent: Tuesday, September 30, 2008 1:03 PM
> To: tcpm@ietf.org
> Cc: iesg@iesg.org
> Subject: [tcpm] exegesis of 'Updates' -- was: ... review 
> ofdraft-ietf-tcpm-tcpsecure[-10]
> 
> Folks,
> I observe that this discussion (which my initial posting has 
> triggered involuntarily) is getting ridiculous.
> 
> Let's return from fine-grained nano-arguments to the roots.
> 
> We are discussing the simple "relations" in the metadata of RFCs.
> 
> These serve the purpose to visibly link these documents 
> together in a coarse, qualified manner, and thus enable any 
> reader not aware of lengthy WG discussion list threads to 
> find a web of pointers which should assist her/him in finding 
> the related documents, when starting with a 'well known' base 
> document.
> 
> Admittedly, the 'vocabulary' available is very simple, but 
> one of the main issue I had when I once started reading RFCs 
> was the very scarce and poor usage of this simple vocabulary, 
> "Updates", "Obsoletes", and "Also".
> My perception frequently was that there were far too many 
> MUSTs and SHOULDs and MAYs inside the documents, and far too 
> few "Udates" helping the reader navigate the RFCs, in the metadata.
> (It's similar to web pages with no hyperlinks on 'home pages'
> [or equivalent] pointing to them!)
> 
> Any implementor or analyst reading RFC 793 should be made 
> aware of the tcpsecure RFC, as soon as it is out (and I 
> really hope to see it soon in the RFC index!), because that 
> document contains qualified statements this working group has judged.
> [... in an incommensurate long period of discussion holding 
> off this long-expected document -- personal note.] He/she 
> should be pointed to this document by the RFC metadata, and 
> should read it (the latter seems to be the consensus of the 
> WG, isn't it?) -- otherwise publishing the document would be 
> rather moot.
> 
> The "Updated by" metadata links do not imply requirements 
> language in any way, they point the reader to documents that
> (hopefully) contain an applicability statement and their own, 
> and detailed requirements language.
> 
> If a new document adds, e.g., new options, to properly 
> designed extensibility hooks of a protocol, without 
> affecting/changing processing rules of the protocol, that 
> memo does not "Update"
> the base document for that protocol, and that document can be 
> easily picked up by tracing the IANA Registry for the 
> namespace forming the extensibility hook.  But if a document 
> discusses new requirements for a protocol that have come up 
> in the real world, and it contains 'considerations' about 
> modifications to the processing rules laid down in another 
> document (which in this particular case already have been 
> adopted by most significant players in the marketplace as 
> inevitable and indispensible changes for security reasons), 
> this new document SHOULD be tagged in the RFC metadata as 
> "Updates <the old one>".
> 
> Don't forget:
> This WG is chartered for the *MAINTENANCE* of TCP.
> If you don't want to make that maintenace visible, you are in 
> danger to dismiss your mission (and the mission of the IETF 
> and its Standards Process).  Since RFCs are immutable, RFC 
> Errata and additions to the RFC metadata are the only ways to 
> make an act of maintenance for a document visible at first place.
> 
> I only see one other option (but I guess that's not a real 
> option in practice, due to workload): *regularly* update RFC 4614 .
> Such documents (and there are far too few of this kind!) 
> provide enough space to discuss the nuances of conditional 
> MUSTs and SHOULDs in case of applicability etc. etc. at 
> length, if deemed necessary.
> 
> Therefore my recommendation:
> 
> +++   Be very careful with "Obsoletes", but be generous
> +++   with "Updates", for the benefit of RFC readers !
> 
> Kind regards,
>   Alfred.
> 
> 
> P.S.:
> The discussion has mentioned the tiny number of "Updated by"
> for RFC 793, one of the oldest and most important standards 
> of the IETF.  Many technicians not aware of the discussions 
> in this WG would take this as a severe indication, or even 
> evidence for lack of maintenance for TCP!
> 
> -- 
> 
> +------------------------+------------------------------------
> --------+
> | TR-Sys Alfred Hoenes   |  Alfred Hoenes   Dipl.-Math., 
> Dipl.-Phys.  |
> | Gerlinger Strasse 12   |  Phone: (+49)7156/9635-0, Fax: -18 
>         |
> | D-71254  Ditzingen     |  E-Mail:  ah@TR-Sys.de             
>         |
> +------------------------+------------------------------------
> --------+
> 
> 
> 
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