Re: Genart last call review of draft-ietf-httpbis-client-cert-field-04

FWIW, I've prepared this PR with those changes

A preview can be seen here

As well as a diff

On Fri, Feb 24, 2023 at 3:16 PM Brian Campbell <>

> Thank you Peter for the thorough review!
> I'll make those clarifications re: Client-Cert and Client-Cert-Chain in
> sec 2 and the appx. Although I think adding the root certificate to
> Client-Cert-Chain is more of a 'can' than a 'should' depending on
> deployment needs. Regardless, I'll add some text to clarify. And will, of
> course, fix all the nits/editorial comments too.
> You are absolutely right that there's potentially a lot of bytes on the
> wire overhead in adding the client cert and possibly the certificate chain
> to every request. However, approaches like substituting something smaller
> on subsequent requests would entail different challenges and overhead -
> particularly with respect to maintaining and keeping state. Also, the aim
> of this draft is to document existing practice while codifying specific
> details, like header names and structure, so as to hopefully facilitate
> improved and lower-touch interoperability going forward (that goal/scope
> could be more explicitly stated in the intro and I'll look to add something
> as such). And existing practice is (largely) to stick the certs in headers
> on each request.
> On Fri, Feb 24, 2023 at 6:40 AM Peter Yee via Datatracker <
>> wrote:
>> Reviewer: Peter Yee
>> Review result: Ready with Issues
>> I am the assigned Gen-ART reviewer for this draft. The General Area
>> Review Team (Gen-ART) reviews all IETF documents being processed
>> by the IESG for the IETF Chair.  Please treat these comments just
>> like any other last call comments.
>> For more information, please see the FAQ at
>> <>.
>> Document: draft-ietf-httpbis-client-cert-field-04
>> Reviewer: Peter Yee
>> Review Date: 2023-02-24
>> IETF LC End Date: 2023-02-23
>> IESG Telechat date: Not scheduled for a telechat
>> Summary: This draft documents a standardized means of conveying a client
>> certificate and chain between a TLS-terminating reverse proxy (TTRP) and
>> an
>> origin server so as to allow the origin server to make decisions based on
>> the
>> identity of the client. This draft is fairly straightforward and not
>> difficult
>> to follow, but there are a couple of issues that could use clarification.
>> [Ready with issues.]
>> Major issues: None
>> Minor issues:
>> The text defining the header fields for Client-Cert and Client-Cert-Chain
>> in
>> section 2 along with the example in Appendix A should make clear:
>> 1) The client certificate placed in Client-Cert is not included in the
>> optional
>> Client-Cert-Chain. 2) Client-Cert-Chain should only appear when
>> Client-Cert is
>> also present. 3) That the root certificate of the chain should be added
>> to the
>> Client-Cert-Chain by the TTRP.
>> Confusion might arise because the header definitions make no mention of
>> this,
>> but the example in Appendix A shows a certificate chain (Figure 1) that is
>> inclusive of a client certificate, but Figure 3 shows that the client
>> certificate is not included in the chain. The text in Appendix A says the
>> client only presents the client and intermediate certificate, so point #3
>> above
>> is needed.
>> In section 2.4, second paragraph, second sentence: this seems really
>> expensive
>> to add the client cert and possibly the certificate chain to every
>> request the
>> client sends to the TTRP. The sending of those fields to the could
>> outweigh the
>> size of the request by quite a bit. Would it be possible to substitute
>> something smaller on subsequent requests between the TTRP and the origin
>> server
>> since they already require a trusted connection between them? A hash of
>> the
>> field(s) value(s)? Something else that helps combat the potential
>> overhead? I
>> realize that I'm asking about a non-trivial change to the draft, which is
>> easy
>> for me to do and difficult for the authors to implement. ;-)
>> Nits/editorial comments:
>> General:
>> Change all occurrences of “mutually-authenticated” to “mutually
>> authenticated”.
>> Specific:
>> Page 6, section 2.4, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence: change the “are” to
>> “is”.
>> Page 8, section 3.2, 3rd sentence: append a comma after “e.g.”.
>> Page 8, section 4, 1st paragraph, 1st sentence: change “server side” to
>> “server-side”.
>> Page 8, section 4, 2nd paragraph, 2nd sentence: append a comma after
>> “fields”.
>> Page 9, 3rd paragraph, 5th sentence: append a comma after “Alternatively”.
>> Page 15, section B.1, 3rd sentence: change the semicolon after “possible”
>> to a
>> comma.
>> Page 15, section B.3, 1st sentence: delete one period after “etc”.
>> Page 16, 1st partial paragraph: append a comma after “full”.

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Received on Friday, 24 February 2023 23:36:20 UTC