Re: [tcpm] Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-gont-tcpm-urgent-data-00

Fernando Gont <> Sat, 08 November 2008 01:41 UTC

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Date: Fri, 07 Nov 2008 22:32:10 -0300
To: Joe Touch <touch@ISI.EDU>
From: Fernando Gont <>
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Subject: Re: [tcpm] Fwd: New Version Notification for draft-gont-tcpm-urgent-data-00
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At 06:37 p.m. 07/11/2008, Joe Touch wrote:

> > At some point, the specs (RFC 793) were ambiguous. So implementations
> > simply picked one of the possible intrepretations. The IETF later
> > mandated the other possible interpretation. But nobody changed their
> > stacks. And nobody will. At some point it may have been an
> > implementation error. Nowadays... who cares? it's the de-facto standard.
>FWIW, there was an errata in RFC961 in 1985, that indicates that page 17
>of RFC793 is incorrect, and that the pointer is to the last octet of
>urgent data (not the first octet of non-urgent data).


>That does NOT make it a 'de-facto standard'; it can also be a 'de-facto

Does this change anything? Do you expect anybody to change their 
implementations at this point in time? They would not even do it even 
if they wanted to (it would break existing apps) C'mon Joe...let's be 
realistic, please.

>The key question is why RFC1122 chose the "points to last URG byte"
>interpretation, and why we think that should be changed.

Because nobody has ever implemented that, there's not benefit in the 
RFC1122 behavior vs. the deployed behavior, and nobody is going to 
change their stacks in this respect at this point in time.

>describing it as "what has been deployed" is insufficient justification
>to call this anything other than a bug without further rationale.

And... what would that change? Okay, I can answer this one for you: 
More and more people would look somewhere else to find out how the 
protocols work in practice.

P.S.: What was it called? "rough consensus and.... "?

Fernando Gont
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