W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > ietf-http-wg@w3.org > April to June 2022

Re: Message signatures, structured fields and ABNF

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2022 10:46:58 +1000
Cc: HTTP Working Group <ietf-http-wg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <56684A8B-D5A5-4FAB-84A9-96F5AF84E672@mnot.net>
To: Roberto Polli <robipolli@gmail.com>
Hi Roberto,

> On 27 May 2022, at 9:13 am, Roberto Polli <robipolli@gmail.com> wrote:
> Dear all,
> after reading the HTTP Style guide
> https://httpwg.org/admin/editors/style-guide#self-references
> I was trying to refactor RateLimit
> https://github.com/ietf-wg-httpapi/ratelimit-headers/blob/main/draft-ietf-httpapi-ratelimit-headers.md
> to remove ABNF and I am finding the document less readable than before.
> Looking at https://github.com/httpwg/http-extensions/blob/main/draft-ietf-httpbis-message-signatures.md#creating-the-signature-base-create-sig-input
> I think that removing ABNF from there is even more complicated.
> Which is a suitable replacement for ABNF to be used in cases such as
> Message Signatures?
> While Structured Fields is capable of disassembling the structure of  a field,
> it can't formally describe the specific content/format of a string.

The point of Structured Fields is that they're not strings, conceptually -- they're data structures. Eventually, we might come up with a simple schema language for them, but for now prose should be adequate.

Taking a quick look at the document - personally, I don't think the ABNF adds much, and indeed in some cases makes it more confusing (e.g., saying something is a sf-item doesn't convey anything about the constraints on that item).


Mark Nottingham   https://www.mnot.net/
Received on Friday, 27 May 2022 00:47:19 UTC

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.4.0 : Thursday, 2 February 2023 18:44:07 UTC