Re: [TLS] Publication of draft-rhrd-tls-tls13-visibility-00

Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com> Tue, 24 October 2017 19:31 UTC

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From: Ted Lemon <mellon@fugue.com>
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Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 15:31:17 -0400
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To: Joseph Salowey <joe@salowey.net>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] Publication of draft-rhrd-tls-tls13-visibility-00
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On Oct 24, 2017, at 12:49 PM, Joseph Salowey <joe@salowey.net>; wrote:
> First, we would like to clarify that this discussion isn't delaying TLS 1.3. We've been holding final publication to resolve some middlebox issues as described in a recent message from ekr
> https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/tls/yt4otPd5u_6fOzW02TEe2e-W5G0 <https://mailarchive.ietf.org/arch/msg/tls/yt4otPd5u_6fOzW02TEe2e-W5G0> and expect to discuss this in Singapore. No one and we mean no one should delay submitting a PR related to TLS1.3 or any other WG draft because of this discussion. You’ll note that others have recently, you should follow suit.

Perhaps not.   I don't feel qualified to judge.   But it's delaying other work, because people who could be doing useful work in the IETF are engaging on this topic instead.   No discussion is without cost, so there is value in cutting off useless discussion, and it is very much your job to do so.   E.g., this was about a half hour of my time, and I have a bunch of other things to do before the draft submission cutoff that I didn't do so that I could respond to this.

> In Prague, we had a discussion of draft-green and there was neither consensus to work in this area nor to decline to work in this area.  In addition to the comments that we should simply decline all such work, the authors received technical comments about their approach and draft-rhrd seems to be an attempt to address some of those comments.  As is normal IETF practice, we will be giving this topic agenda time in Singapore to see if a consensus emerges one way or the other.

The problem with this is that technical comments about a bad idea just improve the bad idea.   The discussion we have been trying to have with the proponents of this idea is the question of whether or not it is a bad idea, not about the technical details.   I say this as someone who has proposed lots of bad ideas in the past.   When I propose a bad idea, and for example Dave Oran points out something obvious that I missed (true story), my response to this is to reconsider what I've proposed to do and to see if there is a better way to solve the problem, not to continue pushing for the idea that has been shown to be a bad idea.

Our objection here, which I third or fourth, is that this discussion has not progressed that way.   This is clearly a bad idea.   Maybe you don't agree.   But we've said why it's clearly a bad idea, and that is something that could have been discussed.   But none of the proponents of this idea have made any attempt to address the substantive objections that have been raised about the idea itself.

So it's not really fair to say that progress is being made.   Progress is being made on refining the bad idea, but no progress has been made in discussing ways to solve the problem that aren't a bad idea.   To be clear, I and several others have proposed ways of solving this problem that are not bad ideas.   These have been rejected on non-technical grounds.

> Absolutely no decisions will be made about adoption prior to that time, nor prior to a formal call for adoption. In particular, decisions will not be made based on the volume of messages to the mailing list.  It is unnecessary and unproductive to repeat points you have already made just because someone responds to you. You will not be missing out on the chance to make your argument.

This feels like the Overton window shifting due to a false equivalence.   The issue here is not that we feel that we will miss out on the chance to make our arguments.   It's that we've been making them, and they've been explicitly ignored.

> Finally, we would like to remind WG members to keep their messages professional and civil. We have noted a number of recent messages that do not conform to those standards and we will be reaching out to people personally to address those instances.

I believe that I have been personally chastized by another participant for responding in a way that was held by that participant to be uncivil/unprofessional.   If you agree with that assessment, please communicate with me to that effect privately (or publicly, if you prefer, but this conversation has really gone on for too long).