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Re: RFC2821bis-01 Issue 7: Use of 2119 definitions for conformity language

2007-04-29 21:43:16

I'm working through the issues here.

In -03, there was a bunch of MUSTard (MUST/SHOULD/MAYs) added under
issue 16 (changing informal statements about requirements to more
formal, 2119-like, language). This was an alternative to issue 7 to
switch fully to 2119. Since John posted this, there have been no
comments whatsoever.

I'm closing issue 7 in favor of issue 16.

        Tony Hansen

John C Klensin wrote:

--On Sunday, 25 March, 2007 03:20 +0200 Frank Ellermann
<nobody(_at_)xyzzy(_dot_)claranet(_dot_)de> wrote:

Tony Finch wrote (2005-09-05)

On Sat, 3 Sep 2005, John C Klensin wrote:
The specific difficulty arises in numbered paragraph 6 of RFC
2119, which, to save chasing references, reads: [...]
RFC 2821 imposes a number of requirements that, by some
interpretations, are "not actually required for
I think the other part of 2119's guidance - "to limit behavior
which has potential for causing harm" - allows the stricter
requirements of 2821.
In any case, paragraph 6 of 2119 is a meta-requirement about
IETF documentation standards, rather than about the contents
of those documents - it makes recommendations for writers not
readers. Stripping off the rationale doesn't change the
definition of the keywords.
In that thread Tony, Wayne, John Leslie, and me argued to use
the 2119 keywords instead of 2181's idiosyncratic definitions,
while John Klensin argued that 2119 keywords can only be used
"where it is actually required for interoperation".

Ok, I don't feel nearly as strongly about this as I did during
the DRUMs period, so will do what the group wishes.  However,
I'd encourage everyone to remember that the choice made during
DRUMs, leading to the current arrangements, was motivated by two

(1) Consistency with 821 and 1123 (the local definitions are
very nearly a copy of those in 1123 if I recall).

(2) Some rather loud and intense claims (accompanied by some
name-calling) by one participant in the WG.   My interpretation
of those claims was that, if under the 2119 definitions, some of
the restrictions and specific language in what became 2821 would
be impossible because his implementation didn't do what was
expected and the Internet had not completely melted down as a
result, or at least email still worked.  The non-2119 language
was used to avoid that particular battle, or at least some of it.

I'm assigning issue #7 to this one.


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