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

From: Mark Nottingham <mnot@mnot.net>
Date: Sat, 5 Nov 2011 16:28:14 +1100
Cc: Peter Saint-Andre <stpeter@stpeter.im>, 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
Message-Id: <DD59BECD-83C8-46BE-8514-EA0264AF7D89@mnot.net>
To: Nick Gall <nick.gall@gmail.com>
That would be indeed useful.

For example, in HTTP, we have methods and status codes -- both of which beings cases where uncoordinated extensions is widely considered Bad, for good reason. 

We also have protocol elements like headers and cache-control directives, where there's only really a need for conflict avoidance and -- ideally -- light review to make sure the authors have considered what's appropriate, and aren't reinventing the wheel. 


On 04/11/2011, at 8:21 AM, Nick Gall wrote:

> 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" 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 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

Mark Nottingham   http://www.mnot.net/
Received on Saturday, 5 November 2011 05:31:17 UTC

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