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Re: Rechartering HTTPbis

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Sat, 28 Jan 2012 11:44:15 +1100
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <B2DF14CC-C45A-45A7-893D-318D2C70AFA6@mnot.net>
To: Poul-Henning Kamp <phk@phk.freebsd.dk>

On 28/01/2012, at 11:37 AM, Poul-Henning Kamp wrote:

> In message <61A10D4D-53CE-473C-AD2A-DC4C0A508B94@mnot.net>, Mark Nottingham wri
> tes:
>>>   2.  That ID SHALL be 29 pages or less.
>> We're actually not too far from this, discounting the size requirement. 
> Please understand that the size-requirement is crucial.
> The current trend in "more text is better than less text" in
> RFC-writing is killing internet standardization as a concept, because
> implementing protocols become an increasingly onerous job.
> In general, adding text rather than formal specifications generally
> makes standards more prone to misinterpretation rather than less
> clear.
>> The current plan is to gather proposals and evaluate in a few months; if 
>> we can't get consensus, the WG will stop HTTP/2.0 work.
> Ok, that was nowhere to be found on your original proposed schedule
> which just magically had a first draft in 4 months time.
>> BTW, Mike's current proto-draft of SPDY weighs in at 44 pages.
> Well, he'll have to edit down then.
> (SPDY is an absolutely worthwhile prototype, but as Fred. P.  Brooks
> cautioned:  "Always throw the prototype away, you will anyway.")
>> "Do it my way, or it's not worth our time?" Really?
> Not my way:  Jon Postels, Einstens & Antoine de Saint Exupery's way.
> I hate to be nasty about this

[ I smiled when I read this ]

> but the fact that HTTPbis made
> RFC2616s page-count double is a major fiasco in my eyes, and I do
> not really consider the result an improvement over RFC2616 in any
> significant way.

I'll repeat that much of that is boilerplate (because we went from one document to seven), change logs (AHEM, Julian), and indices. And that in many places, we cut out substantial amounts of text (e.g., ~10 pages from p6). Anyway.

> Yes, things have been clarified, and explained, but the matter
> of the fact is that HTTP/1.1 sucks as protocol engineering, and
> no amount of lipstick or explanations can change that fact.
> We know HTTP/1.X is doing it wrong, and given compatibility
> constraints, there's nothing we can do about it, and all the
> time spent clarifying it, is just wasted IMO.
> But HTTP/1.1 is also an incredibly entrenched protocol, and
> that raises the bar significantly for HTTP/2.0.
> If any protocol is going to be goldplated as "HTTP/2.0", it had
> damn well better be simpler to understand, simpler to implement,
> have less weird corner-cases AND be faster than HTTP/1.1 is.
> Otherwise it will just be IPv4 vs. IPv6 all over again.
> So lets see some lean and simple proposals which get the job done.

I'm absolutely with you in spirit. However, an arbitrary number like "29" doesn't help; the WG can bias towards simplicity when selecting a proposal.

> If we find one or more of them worthwhile, we'll go over it in the
> WG and by the time we're done waving our flags and airing our
> rocking-horses, it will have explode by a factor of three.
> If we start out at 29 pages, that means we'll end just shy of
> 100 pages, which is a bit over the top, but livable.
> Poul-Henning
> PS: Feel free to call me a grumpy old man.  Having been on the long
> ride from ITU-T X.xxx recommendations for OSI protocols over
> SNMPv1/v2/v3 and IPv6, not to mention various other standardisation
> debacles, I feel I have earned my opinions.

I get that.

> PPS: And don't forget that IT-"journalists" already have started
> wetting their pants about "The Future of the INTERNET: HTTP/2.0"
> and similar rubish.  Just wait until the WG misses its first

Whatever. If I had worried about looking foolish, I would have stopped a long time ago.


Mark Nottingham   http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Saturday, 28 January 2012 00:44:53 UTC

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