W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg-old@w3.org > January to April 1998

Re: MHTML/HTTP 1.1 Conflicts

From: Jim Gettys <jg@pa.dec.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 14:21:02 -0800
Message-Id: <9801262221.AA04769@pachyderm.pa.dec.com>
To: Stef@nma.com
Cc: IETF working group on HTML in e-mail <mhtml@segate.sunet.se>, http-wg@cuckoo.hpl.hp.com
Well, the problem is that there is no "Guide to Developing Internet protocols"
document that I've seen, that sets out enough of the lore required.

The closest I've seen is an Internet Draft, that I saw some months ago, 
on application protocols; it was about 80% correct, but incomplete. (I don't 
have the reference handy)...  It drew some conclusions I don't think were 
warranted:  e.g. text protocols are good, while the real point is that 
protocols should be designed for extensibility up front, whether text or 
binary based. It happens that text protocols (e.g. RFC 822 decendends) are 
often easy to extend (at least in certain ways, as HTTP has been finding 
out, hard to extend in some other ways); we have another set of lessons 
that we've been learning the hard way.  As author of a binary applications
protocol that has been extended in many, many ways successfully, that
is the real lesson (note that the X Window System lacked a formal extension
mechanism until Version 11; thankfully, we were able to kill all older
versions of X, and survived to tell the tale).

I think it would be worthwhile to have such a document, and would be willing 
to help raise it as an issue with the IAB.  Ultimately, it is the kind of 
guidance that the IAB should provide (or endorse someone's attempt at such 
guidance).
				- Jim


It would be good for such a document to try to collect the lore
of Internet Protocol design to help out newcomers...
				- Jim
--
Jim Gettys
Industry Standards and Consortia
Digital Equipment Corporation
Visting Scientist, World Wide Web Consortium, M.I.T.
http://www.w3.org/People/Gettys/
jg@w3.org, jg@pa.dec.com
Received on Monday, 26 January 1998 14:23:42 EST

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