Re: Gen-ART LC Review of draft-cheshire-dnsext-multicastdns-12
On 23 Nov 2010, at 6:49 PM, Ben Campbell wrote:
*** Major issues:
*** Minor issues:
-- Abstract, 2nd paragraph:
The annual fee part is not a technical issue. Seems like a bit of a
straw man here.
It is however a relevant difference that no money needs to change
hands when using Multicast DNS names; often it does when using
unicast DNS names.
-- 5.2, 2nd paragraph: "However, there are other DNS queries where
more than one response is possible and useful, and for these
queries a more advanced Multicast DNS client should include the
ability to wait for an appropriate period of time to collect
How does a client know when it is useful to wait?
I have deleted this section.
This section seems to create a lot of work to avoid redundant
answers. Is it really worthwhile from a complexity vs efficiency
-- ..., 2nd paragraph: "...it SHOULD delete that answer from the
list of answers it is planning to give..."
The previous section had a MUST level requirement for the
corresponding situation. Are they different on purpose?
Previously we had thought the Multi-Packet Known Answer Suppression
case might be harder to implement, but you are right. We have changed
this to MUST.
Shouldn't there be something normative in section 6.3?
I have changed the "should" to capital letters.
"Planning a query" is not well defined, and its likely a querier
won't know it plans to send a query until time to send it. Is the
querier expected to remember observed queries in case it might want
to send a duplicate in the future?
See "Continuous Multicast DNS Querying". All active queries have a
timeline of planned future retransmissions. A Multicast DNS Querier
knows when it next expects to send a given query, and if it sees an
equivalent query issued by another host, then it should treat its own
query as having been sent on its behalf.
-- 6.4, 1st paragraph: "...record is not less than the TTL this
host would have given..."
Really? If the responder has a short TTL than another responder,
should the first one really let the other increase the value?
Yes. In the case of misconfiguration it's important that hosts do not
create a packet storm fighting about it.
-- section 7.6:
I assume this is for backwards compatibility with existing deployed
implementations? If so, it would be worth mentioning that.?
I have changed the document to say:
If the source UDP port in a received Multicast DNS Query is not port
5353, this indicates that the client originating the query is a
simple client that does not fully implement all of Multicast DNS, as
described in Section 5.1 "One-Shot Multicast DNS Queries".
-- 8.1, 4th paragraph: "250ms after the first query the host should
send a second, then 250ms after that a third. If, by 250ms after
the third probe, no conflicting Multicast DNS responses have been
received, the host may move to the next step, announcing."
Yes, but in the English language sense, not an RFC 2119 keyword.
-- 8.2, 2nd paragraph: "...the Authority Section must contain *all*
the records ..."
Yes. Are you complaining that it's not clear what the sentence means
unless some of the words are in all-capitals?
-- ..., 3rd paragraph: "The two records are compared and the
lexicographically later data wins."
Seems like there might should be something normative there.
-- ..., last paragraph: "Note that it is vital..."
That would seem to imply something normative?
Yes. I believe it is acceptable to write a specification using
English. RFC 2119 keywords are sometimes useful for clarity, but I
don't believe there is any requirement that every normative sentence
contain at least one of them.
-- 8.3, 4th paragraph: "A Responder MAY send up to eight
gratuitous Responses, provided that the interval between gratuitous
responses increases by at least a factor of two with every response
Why the option? When would a responder want to send more than two?
The same reason TCP retransmits more than once: Packet loss.
-- 8.4, 1st paragraph:
No need to repeat the probe?
No. The host does not need to repeat the Probing step because it has
already established unique ownership of that name.
-- 10, 1st paragraph: "As a general rule, the recommended TTL
-- ..., 3rd paragraph: "A client with an active outstanding query
will issue a query packet when one or more of the resource record
(s) in its cache is (are) 80% of the way to expiry."
What does an outstanding query have to do with it? Do you mean to
say a cached record?
See "Continuous Multicast DNS Querying". On your Mac or Windows
machine type: "dns-sd -B _http._tcp". Now you have an active query.
Press Ctrl-C. Now you cancelled it.
-- section 12, 3rd paragraph: "This characteristic is not unique to
Multicast DNS. Although the original concept of DNS was a single
global namespace, in recent years split views, firewalls,
intranets, and the like have increasingly meant that the answer to
a given DNS query has become dependent on the location of the
I don't think this is a fair comparison, as it was not the intent
of the protocol designers for dns to be location specific, and many
would consider this an abuse of the protocol. OTOH, m-dns is, if I
understand correctly, is _intended_ to be location specific.
The comment in parentheses is not a comparison. It does not state
intent. It is merely an observation about current reality.
-- ..., 6th paragraph: "There are no NS records anywhere in
Multicast DNS Domains."
-- 14, 1st paragraph: "The option to fail-over to Multicast DNS for
names not ending in ".local." SHOULD be a user-configured option,
and SHOULD be disabled by default because of the possible security
issues related to unintended local resolution of apparently global
I have trouble imagining any safe circumstance to enable this. Can
you offer an example?
On an isolated network, or on some future machine that exclusively
uses DNSSEC for all DNS queries, thereby guarding itself against
-- 15, 5th paragraph: "While this kind of name duplication should
Why should it be rare?
Because users generally name their devices intelligently. Over the
last eight years this kind of name duplication has not been a common
-- 17, paragraph 1:
How does this historical note relate to IDNA? Do you mean to say
that IDNA is not needed for mdns? It would be nice to have some
Yes, IDNA is not needed for Multicast DNS.
-- ..., last paragraph
If a CNAME record creates a name conflict, will m-dns
implementations notice and defend against it?
A query for the name will generate a response which will signal a
name conflict like any other response would.
-- 18, paragraph 3: "... specialized cases where the implementer
knows that all receivers implement reassembly."
How could an implementor know this? Can you list some example
cases? It seems to me that, unless we know of such cases in
advance, it might be better to just forbid this.
For example, factory floor CNC equipment, using Multicast DNS over a
private Ethernet network. This is a mostly proprietary marketplace,
and CNC equipment manufacturers know pretty precisely the
capabilities of their other proprietary equipment on the network.
-- ..., last paragraph:
If jumbo packets are rare, why not just stick to the 1500 limit?
Some applications today need more than 1500-byte payloads.
-- 19.1, paragraphs 1 and 2:
The first two paragraphs seem to make normative statements that are
redundant with the rest of the document. It's best to either state
this descriptively, or clearly attribute the requirements to the
authoritative sections. Otherwise if there is a conflict, it may
not be clear to the reader which text is authoritative.
Can explain specifically what part you think is redundant, and
suggest better text.
-- 19.14, paragraph 5: "Until future IETF Standards Action
specifying that names in the rdata of other types should be
compressed, names that appear within the rdata of any type not
listed above MUST NOT be compressed."
Is this a new normative requirement, or a restatement of some
existing DNS rule that could be referenced?
It is a normative requirement for Multicast DNS (this document).
-- 22, paragraph 3: "In an environment where there is a group of
cooperating participants, but there may be other antagonistic
participants on the same physical link,..."
I think the sense of this should be more along the lines of "in all
environments where clients cannot be sure in advance that no
antagonistic hosts can exist on the same segment" or something to
that effect. Too many network managers naively believe that no
hostile devices can exist on their networks.
I made this change.
-- ..., paragraph 4: "... it is *especially* important..."
-- 23, paragraph 4:
This section needs to request registration of an explicit new IANA
table along with the criteria for adding new entries, or explicitly
reference an existing registry, then register the entries. Don't
expect IANA to infer this. Also, is suspect language like "IANA
should" would br better stated as "this document requests IANA to
This is now covered by <http://www.ietf.org/id/draft-cheshire-dnsext-
-- ..., numbered list:
Are you asking IANA to do something with the information about
special treatment of the multicast domains? That level of detail
would be unusual in an IANA registry--more likely they would just
reference this document for details. If you aren't asking them for
specific action about this information, then it should go elsewhere
in the document.
This now the "Domain Name Reservation Considerations" section.
-- ..., list item 1, 2nd paragraph:
I'm very skeptical about normative statements of the form of "users
SHOULD be aware...". What should _implementors_ do?
-- ..., list items 4-7:
These seem to put requirements on devices that do not implement
this spec. Why would the implementors of such even read this?
No. Only devices that claim compliance with this spec have to follow
these requirements. No RFC can impose requirements on any implementer
unless that implementer voluntarily chooses to comply with the RFC.
RFCs are not laws.
-- ..., 2nd to last paragraph:
Again, this needs to be more explicit about what is requested from
IANA has clarified they understand this.
--, 25.2, "[B4W]" reference:
Is it reasonable to reference something as ephemeral as wikipedia,
even for an informative reference? Remember RFCs live a long time.
People objected to the apple.com reference so we changed it to
wikipedia as being more neutral.
-- Appendix A:
Please describe the conclusions, not just the arguments.
Arguments were made for and against using Multicast on UDP port 53.
The arguments for using a different port were greater in number and
more compelling so the final decision was to use UDP port 5353.
*** Nits/editorial comments:
-- Idnits shows 2 warnings and 3 comments. Please check.
I would like to have seen some general, non-normative, discussion
on how this all works together before jumping deep into protocol
details. I was fairly well into the document before I understood
the transaction-stateless nature of the mechanism.
The document is already long. Others have been asking us to delete
-- 5.3, 5th paragraph: "To perform this cache maintenance, a
Multicast DNS Querier should plan to re-query for records after at
least 50% of the record lifetime has elapsed. This document
recommends the following specific strategy:"
It might be helpful to include a note about the difference between
retransmitting a query vs re-querying.
There is no difference between retransmitting a query vs re-querying.
-- Section 7:
This section needs some subsections, or other organization. As it
is, it jumps from one topic to the next with little transition and
is hard to follow.
We have already done many edits to try to organize this section into
the best order we can.
-- ..., 2nd paragraph: "The record name must match the question
name, the record rrtype must match the question qtype unless the
qtype is "ANY" (255) or the rrtype is "CNAME" (5), and the record
rrclass must match the question qclass unless the qclass is "ANY""
References? Also, should the musts here be normative?
--... 5th paragraph: "A Multicast DNS Responder on Ethernet [IEEE.
802.3] and similar shared multiple access networks..."
Do you expect responders to vary behavior depending on the
underlying network type?
We expect implementers using networks substantially dissimilar to
Ethernet to consider whether the stated time constants are applicable
for their network.
-- ..., later same paragraph: "...determined by the rules described
The way things are organized, it's hard to tell where the
referenced rules start and stop.
It doesn't really matter very much. It is merely introduction to the
text that follows.
-- 7.1, 5th paragraph from end: "For example, the TTL for address
records in Multicast DNS is typically 120 seconds, so the negative
cache lifetime for an address record that does not exist should
also be 120 seconds."
-- ..., 4th paragraph from end: "name/rrtype/rrclass"
Please avoid using a slash as a conjunction substitute.
Can you explain what you'd like to see instead?
"(e.g. for reverse address..."
For, or From?
e.g. names of reverse address mapping PTR records, which are derived
from IP addresses, and therefor can be assumed to be already unique.
-- section 7.3, last paragraph: "...SHOULD be randomly delayed in
the range 20-120ms, or 400- 500ms if the TC (truncated) bit is set,
as described above."
Isn't this redundant with previous sections?
No. Unlike single-question queries where responding without delay is
allowed in appropriate cases, for query packets containing more than
one question all (non-defensive) answers SHOULD be randomly delayed
in the range 20-120ms, or 400-500ms if the TC (truncated) bit is set.
-- 8.1, 6th paragraph: "At the present time, this document
Do you expect this to change?
Good point. Removed.
-- 8.2, 4th paragraph:
Inconsistent usage between "the host" and "ourself". Probably best
not to anthropomorphize.
Changed to "from the host itself"
Inconsistent section hierarchy. The single record case was in the
parent section, but the multiple level case has its own subsection.
8.2.1 is a continuation and elaboration of 8.2.
-- 8.3, 1st paragrah: "gratuitous"
That seems the wrong choice of words, since such responses are not
"without cause or reason" which is the usual dictionary definition.
Maybe "unsolicited"? (No problem if this is some DNS term of art
that I haven't heard.)
-- ..., last paragraph: "as described below in "Conflict Resolution"."
Section number cross-references would be helpful.
-- 9, indented paragraph after numbered list item 5:
It's not clear to me if this is supposed to refer to just item 5,
or to item 4 and 5. In any case, the advise that one may simply not
notify does not seem helpful for case 5.
Thanks. That text was supposed to apply to item 4.
-- 11, 1st paragraph: "These older clients discard all packets with
TTLs other than 255."
Can you provide a reference for this behavior? How old is old?
This includes things like network printers implementing draft-
cheshire-dnsext-multicastdns-04.txt, published February 2004. Some of
these printers are still around today.
-- 12, 4th paragraph: "The IPv4 name server for a Multicast DNS
Domain is 126.96.36.199. The IPv6 name server for a Multicast DNS
Domain is FF02::FB."
Name server _address_?
-- ..., 6th paragraph: "...delegation of all Multicast DNS Domains
to the 188.8.131.52:5353 and [FF02::FB]:5353,..."
-- ..., 7th paragraph:
Please expand SOA on first mention
-- 15, last paragraph:
Can you provide section cross references for these safeguards?
Fixed: Section 10.3
Seems like this should be stated early in the document, in the
intro, or in a scope section or applicability statement.
-- 16.3: "...each have their own..."
I disagree: "clients" is plural.
-- 17, 3rd paragraph from end:
This seems to imply there are no "letters" in UTF8 outside the
-- ..., last paragraph: "The simple rules for case-insensitivity in
Unicast DNS also apply..."
Fixed: [RFC1034] [RFC1035]
-- 18, paragraph 3: "...,a Multicast DNS Responder SHOULD send the
Resource Record alone, in a single IP datagram, sent using multiple
I have trouble parsing this clause. Should "sent using" just be
-- ..., 2nd to last paragraph: "Ethernet "Jumbo" packet"
-- 19.2 and 19.3:
-- 19.12 and 19.13:
References to normative text?
-- 20, paragraph 1: "The value of Multicast DNS is..."
Is assume you mean "a value..." or "one value..."?
Multicast DNS shares, as much as possible, the familiar APIs, naming
syntax, resource record types, etc., of Unicast DNS.
-- 23, paragraphs 1 and 2:
Can you provide references or pointer to the existing registrations?
Stuart Cheshire <cheshire(_at_)apple(_dot_)com>
* Wizard Without Portfolio, Apple Inc.
Ietf mailing list