[rfc-i] Data point [Re: Fwd: I-D ACTION:draft-hoffman-utf8-rfcs-03.txt]

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Tue Oct 7 08:59:35 PDT 2008

At 9:12 PM -0700 10/6/08, Dave CROCKER wrote:
>Paul Hoffman wrote:
>> At 5:01 PM -0700 10/6/08, Dave CROCKER wrote:
>>> By my reading of your results, your test demonstrates that raw UTF-8
>>> produces unpredictable and/or undesirable outcomes with common tools.
>>> Hence it fails the requirement.
>> To which "the requirement" are you referring?
>The one that was in the immediately preceding sentence, in the paragraph that
>you did not include:
>    "I've understood that robustness as being a continuing requirement."

Sorry, my bad there. Yes, you said that. I missed it because you and I interpreted Brian's message in opposite fashions. If I understand it correctly, his copying an pasting kept the UTF-8 intact; there were some places where it did not render correctly. The fact that the one place that would have destroyed the bits asked him if he wanted to is a very positive sign. To me, no loss of bits on the wire is "robust".

> >       We explicitly did not put any
>> requirements in our document because no such requirements appear in RFC 2223.
>> Our document proposes a change in the encoding, *not* a change in the
>> requirements for the RFC series.
>Sure it does.  The long-standing requirement has been robustness in surviving
>varied handling and retaining readability. 

We agree on the first part but disagree on the second.

>Concern for that requirement has
>been at the core of every rejection for proposed encoding/format enhancement
>made in at least the last 15 years.

And we fully agree on that, unfortunately.

>Brian's test scenario demonstrates a substantial change in survivability. In
>other words, the document becomes much more fragile than it ever has been.

It sounds like you have conflated your two types of robustness. Nothing in Brian's message indicates lack of robustness in "surviving varied handling".

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--VPN Consortium

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