[TLS] John Scudder's No Objection on draft-ietf-tls-dtls-connection-id-11: (with COMMENT)

John Scudder via Datatracker <noreply@ietf.org> Tue, 20 April 2021 21:09 UTC

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Subject: [TLS] John Scudder's No Objection on draft-ietf-tls-dtls-connection-id-11: (with COMMENT)
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John Scudder has entered the following ballot position for
draft-ietf-tls-dtls-connection-id-11: No Objection

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I found this document heavy sledding but once I was through it, it all came
together, with the exception of my #3, below. The “heavy sledding” part I think
would be largely fixed by addressing my #1, below.

1. Section 3:

This pseudocode is a little too pseudo for me:

     struct {
         opaque cid<0..2^8-1>;
     } ConnectionId;

What does the content of the angle brackets mean? At first I took it to mean
“this can take on a value from 0 to 255” [*] but parts of the spec that go on
about variable lengths made me think that couldn’t be right. Eventually, by
paging through RFC 5246, I found some explanations of what this stuff is
supposed to mean; in §4.3 of that RFC I found out that

   Variable-length vectors are defined by specifying a subrange of legal
   lengths, inclusively, using the notation <floor..ceiling>.  When
   these are encoded, the actual length precedes the vector's contents
   in the byte stream.  The length will be in the form of a number
   consuming as many bytes as required to hold the vector's specified
   maximum (ceiling) length.

I assume this is what’s going on in DTLS as well. This cleared up my main
source of confusion, which was regarding just how you were encoding these
variable-length CIDs anyway. (And oh by the way, that definition doesn’t say
what the units of length are. Bytes seems implied but isn’t explicit.)

While I don’t expect you to supply these definitions again, it would be
courteous to your readers to have a sentence or two explaining that pseudo-code
conventions are found in RFC 5246, special extra credit for section references
as well. And yes, I did notice "This document assumes familiarity with DTLS 1.2
[RFC6347].” That’s well and good, but I don’t think “familiarity” is the same
as “we have adopted the same notational conventions”.

[*] By the way, why not just use “255” in the text instead of “2^8-1”? Eschew

2. Section 3:

   If DTLS peers have negotiated the use of a non-zero-length CID for a
   given direction, then once encryption is enabled they MUST send with
   the record format defined in {{dtls-ciphertext} with the new MAC
   computation defined in Section 5 and the content type tls12_cid.
   Plaintext payloads never use the new record type and the CID content

What’s “{{dtls-ciphertext}”? I’m guessing just a botched xref?

Also, the first sentence seems to have no object. (What MUST they send?)

3. Section 6:

   *  There is a strategy for ensuring that the new peer address is able
      to receive and process DTLS records.  No such strategy is defined
      in this specification.

This is a little mind-boggling to me. I understand this to mean I can’t send
the new address a DTLS record unless I’ve already ensured it can receive and
process that record, right? This seems almost like a classic Catch-22. I feel
like I must be missing something.