W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-discuss@w3.org > January 1999

Re: Application "core protocol" BOF/WG idea

From: Chris Newman <Chris.Newman@innosoft.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 1999 12:20:39 -0800 (PST)
To: Graham Klyne <GK@Dial.pipex.com>
Cc: discuss@apps.ietf.org
Message-id: <Pine.SOL.3.95.990129112510.25085C-100000@elwood.innosoft.com>
On Fri, 29 Jan 1999, Graham Klyne wrote:
> Specifically, I find the idea that we can "design a simple core protocol to
> address these problems" is something of a tall order.

You may be right.  But what if we can?  Just because it might be hard does
that mean we shouldn't try?  While protocol building blocks like SASL are
very useful to new protocol developers and multi-protocol software
products, a successful "core protocol" would be much more useful. 

I'll note one ad-hoc attempt at such a "core protocol" was published as
draft-earhart-ap-spec-01.txt (January 1998).  It was heavily based on IMAP
and ACAP.  Now I happen to think that was too complex and needed to be
illuminated by other successful IETF protocols and a more careful study of
the deployed use of the core protocol facilities in IMAP.  But it did
address many (most?) of the problems listed in the proposed charter in 24
pages.  It's at least a good indication that a solution to the "core
protocol" problem is viable. 

> What I do think may
> be achievable is to identify a range of problems, and then make
> recommendations about solutions to these.

I see a set of "protocol building blocks" as the fallback position if
rough concensus on a simple core protocol fails.

> So, instead of "core protocol", how about "core protocols"?

I'd prefer to focus on a single "core protocol" based on the
connection-based stateful client-server structure that most successful
IETF application protocols follow.  There are obviously other protocol
models with which we have far less experience, but most of those _are_
research problems and thus out-of-scope. 

		- Chris
Received on Friday, 29 January 1999 15:27:55 UTC

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