Re: [Webpush] Breaking Changes (was Re: Eric Rescorla's Discuss on draft-ietf-webpush-vapid-03: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT))

Martin Thomson <> Wed, 16 August 2017 06:22 UTC

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From: Martin Thomson <>
Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 16:22:26 +1000
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To: Adam Roach <>
Cc: Ben Campbell <>, Eric Rescorla <>, draft-ietf-webpush-vapid <>, Phil Sorber <>, The IESG <>,, "" <>
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Subject: Re: [Webpush] Breaking Changes (was Re: Eric Rescorla's Discuss on draft-ietf-webpush-vapid-03: (with DISCUSS and COMMENT))
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On 16 August 2017 at 15:41, Adam Roach <> wrote:
> On 8/16/17 12:09 AM, Martin Thomson wrote:
>> p.s., It's been a while since I've been on the receiving end of the
>> old "your code doesn't matter, you took a risk implementing an I-D"
>> argument.  As an argument it kinda stinks.  I'm embarrassed to confess
>> that I've used it in the past, despite reminding myself not to.  I'd
>> be interested in learning whether the IESG has an opinion on the
>> subject.  A statement of policy might be valuable.
> Given that the alternative is effectively forbidding breaking changes after
> WG adoption -- which is clearly untenable -- I'm not sure what kind of
> policy you're looking for here. Can you clarify?

(Hmm, I got this message twice...)

The usual exchange goes a: "I have code", b: "you implemented an I-D,
that's your problem".

Some guidance about how to manage this situation would be appreciated.

I'm not looking for a prohibition on changes at any point in the
process.  That's ludicrous, after all, people do understand what it
means to implement an I-D.  But statements like "there is code" or
"there is deployed code" are valid and useful input to a discussion
and not just as proof that a given thing is possible.  That means
potentially affecting the outcome of a decision.

In this particular case, the arguments presented weren't problematic,
because the real arguments was actually "well, this change doesn't
seem that bad to me".  But it's not the first time someone has opened
with that argument and it annoyed me enough to comment.