Re: [TLS] RFC-4366-bis and the unrecognized_name(112) alert

Marsh Ray <> Fri, 04 June 2010 17:15 UTC

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Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:14:44 -0500
From: Marsh Ray <>
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Subject: Re: [TLS] RFC-4366-bis and the unrecognized_name(112) alert
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On 6/4/2010 11:47 AM, Martin Rex wrote:
> But defining only the situation when one peer can send a particular
> warning level alert is entirely insufficient.  The definition of
> a warning-level alert _MUST_ describe how the receiving peer is
> supposed to react to this.

I don't agree with such an absolute statement.

Sometimes the only use of a protocol message is to provide information
to a software developer who wrote the code so he has some clues to go on
when the bug report with the protocol trace lands in his inbox.

Although it is good to try to avoid it, the vast majority of nontrivial
systems have failure modes that were not anticipated during development
and testing. As a developer, I really value the ability to issue some
opaque internal error code message into some log file. Somehow the
system got into a state that I didn't expect it could, if I could have
described how the system should react, I would have coded it that way.

A strict policy like "all warnings must X" just leads to the warning
message facility being unusable for cases where X is too difficult.

- Marsh