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Re: Comments on draft-mogul-http-hit-metering-01.txt

From: Larry Masinter <masinter@parc.xerox.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Mar 1997 23:37:16 PST
Message-Id: <3323C83C.7216@parc.xerox.com>
To: Koen Holtman <koen@win.tue.nl>
Cc: Jeffrey Mogul <mogul@pa.dec.com>, http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
I think the problem with "draft-mogul-http-hit-..." is as much
syntactic as it is content -- if not more so.

Several places, the draft says "we believe". However, not
everyone in the working group believes. Perhaps the authors
believe. If this is going to be a working group Proposed
Standard, then everyone has to believe in order to get away
with the phrase "we believe". You thought you were adding
caveats but it had the opposite effect.


This is not intended to be a research paper for a conference
or a personal statement of the author's belief. As such,
it would help a lot to change the language, from:

>   We recognize that, for many service operators, the single most
>   important aspect of the request stream is the number of distinct
>   users who have retrieved a particular entity. We believe that our
>   design provides adequate support for user-counting, within the
>   constraints of what is feasible in the current Internet, based on 
>   the following analysis.

How about:

# Currently, many HTTP service operators wish to know the
# number of distinct users who have retrieved a particular
# entity. The following analysis indicates that the design
# in this document can support this kind of user counting, 
# at least to the satisfaction of those interested in
# roughly estimated data, and it has a simple deployment
# strategy.

This gets rid of the personal pronouns all together (which
is good since the referent is ambiguous as we move forward
in standards track.) It also gets rid of the "current Internet"
caveat, which raises its own red flag around designing
standards with too short a lifespan.

I don't mean to say that the issues aren't serious here, 
but if we focus on the language used to describe the claims
and the source of them, we might be able to make progress.

Larry
-- 
http://www.parc.xerox.com/masinter
Received on Monday, 10 March 1997 00:39:08 EST

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