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Re: JFV and Common Structure specifications

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 2016 19:05:46 +1100
Cc: Martin Thomson <martin.thomson@gmail.com>, HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>, Patrick McManus <mcmanus@ducksong.com>
Message-Id: <E5207840-A825-43B5-B42F-6C56314EA703@mnot.net>
To: Poul-Henning Kamp <phk@phk.freebsd.dk>

> On 22 Nov. 2016, at 6:49 pm, Poul-Henning Kamp <phk@phk.freebsd.dk> wrote:
> Also: We should deliver tools, not policies.

[ personal response ]

This phrase is starting to lose meaning for me, as it seems like it could be used as a critique of most any decision about a specification that's out of favour. 

E.g., given that headers themselves are constrained (effectively, a list of tuples with semantics around combination, naming, etc.), should we remove the "policy" from them and make it a bucket of bytes? Or is that too focused on a policy of byte-based computing?

The insistence of a linear interpretation of time implied by discussions around dates is likewise a policy discussion. Let's not even get into numbers...

Adding features like recursion has a real cost in complexity, cognitive load, bugs and security. All of these things add friction to a standard, and can make or break it. That's not to say that we shouldn't do it, but dismissing these concerns with a catchphrase isn't going to be sufficient (at least for me).


Mark Nottingham   https://www.mnot.net/
Received on Tuesday, 22 November 2016 08:06:19 UTC

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