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Re: draft-iab-extension-recs & W3C TAG

From: Nick Gall <nick.gall@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 3 Nov 2011 17:21:09 -0400
Message-ID: <CA+xhAPVvwJSuJECZJSSYjo+9FC4jTMf49WVpqnHrGg2LHAAQvA@mail.gmail.com>
To: Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im>
Cc: Brian E Carpenter <brian.e.carpenter@gmail.com>, Bernard Aboba <bernard_aboba@hotmail.com>, Stuart Cheshire <cheshire@apple.com>, Noah Mendelsohn <nrm@arcanedomain.com>, Larry Masinter <masinter@adobe.com>, www-tag@w3.org
On Mon, Oct 31, 2011 at 8:27 PM, Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im>wrote:

> Dear IAB authors:
>
> Do you think that draft-iab-extension-recs has applicability to W3C work
> on formats and languages?
>

As someone who has followed the "distributed extensibility" debate from
afar, I think draft-iab-extension-recs Section 3.4 "Protocol
Variations"<http://bit.ly/rJvXLq>applies to the issue. I think the
section can be read (at least by someone
like me who is not steeped in the issues) as a repudiation of, or at least
strong advisory against, distributed extensibility. Here is the pertinent
advice: "In particular, the IAB considers it an essential principle of the
protocol development process that *only one SDO maintains design authority
for a given protocol*, with that SDO having ultimate authority over the
allocation of protocol parameter code-points and over defining the intended
semantics, interpretation, and actions associated with those code-points."
(emphasis added) This language is actually quoted from RFC
5704 "Uncoordinated Protocol Development Considered Harmful".

As I understand it "distributed extensibility" is
defined<http://bit.ly/vOn20K>as "The ability for a language to be
extended by multiple parties
*who do not explicitly coordinate with each other*." (emphasis added) I
think it is interesting that the W3C (or at least the TAG) think that
uncoordinated *extensibility *is a good idea, at least in some
circumstances, while the IETF seems to feel that uncoordinated
*development*is generally a bad idea. I googled to see if anyone had
discussed the
possible conflict between RFC 5704 and "distributed extensibility", but I
didn't find anything.

I don't mean to reopen the Issue-41 can of worms, but a brief discussion of
"distributed extensibility" (possibly in section 3.4) in an RFC on protocol
extensibility seems warranted. At the very least, a discussion of what MAY
be extended in a protocol *without* coordination vs. what SHOULD be
extended *with coordination* would be very useful.

-- Nick
Received on Thursday, 3 November 2011 21:22:02 GMT

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