[NNTP] Article number wording
rra at stanford.edu
Fri Jul 29 14:05:46 PDT 2005
Ruud H G van Tol <rvtol at isolution.nl> writes:
> Russ Allbery:
>> [article numbers, limits]
>> It's not acceptable to leave it unspecified. RFC 977 was deficient in
>> this regard. Whatever we do, we have to be clear and specific about
>> it; that's the whole point of a standard.
> I would just mention in a side-note that in 2005 it is no longer good to
> have a limit in the software that is less than 2^64, and that any limit
> will be proven too small some time.
Making this statement specifically about article numbers is a valid, or at
least arguable, point. The statement as you made it, as a general
statement about all standards, makes no sense to me. The above would
argue, for example, that Unicode is not an acceptable standard because it
has a 2^32 bit limit on the code space, when so far as I can tell pretty
much everyone involved in character set issues believes that will be
sufficient for the forseeable future.
In other words, it depends on what the limit is for and how much utility
is gained by having a limit.
Also, not specifically on this point but with relation to this discussion
in general, I feel obligated at this point to once again ask everyone
participating in the working group to remember our charter:
| The IETF NNTP extensions Working Group shall:
| 1. Revise and publish a standards-track successor to RFC 977 that
| removes ambiguities from the original document, defines a mechanism
| for adding extensions to the protocol, and provides a mechanism for
| the server to inform the client of the extensions which it supports.
| 2. Include in the same document some reasonable group of existing
| commonly used extensions forming a new base functionality for NNTP.
| 3. Upon completion of the RFC977 successor document, and presuming that
| proposals for extensions to the NNTP protocol have been submitted
| for consideration by IESG, the working group may be asked by the
| IESG Applications Area Directors to review one or more extensions
| for NNTP. Part of the purpose of such a review will be to test the
| newly established mechanism for adding protocol extensions.
| The first concern of this working group shall be for the interoperability
| of the various NNTP implementations, and therefore for clear and explicit
| specification of the protocol. It is very important that we document the
| existing situation before taking up any new work.
Article number handling falls into point 1, and the caveats in the final
paragraph applies. I think the first sentence of the last paragraph makes
it clear (in reference to other messages in this thread) why leaving the
limit unspecified is not acceptable. (Which is not the same thing as
specifying that there is no limit -- that solution may have other
problems, but it would be clear and explicit.)
Russ Allbery (rra at stanford.edu) <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>
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