[e2e] Are we doing sliding window in the Internet?

Ian McDonald ian.mcdonald at jandi.co.nz
Thu Jan 4 11:25:18 PST 2007

On 1/5/07, Joe Touch <touch at isi.edu> wrote:

I'm sorry for the way I said things. I wasn't trying to start a
mini-flame war but I have a habit of saying things in a way that
causes misunderstanding at times.
> Ian McDonald wrote:
> >> One would like to think that the last category should require some
> >> care and
> >> a rigorous process. Is this process not documented or well understood?
> >> Surely, it cannot be - implement, deploy, publish paper and write RFC :).
> >> What role should the IETF play in this process? Advisory only?
> >>
> > You'll find that Linux is probably the most RFC compliant
> > implementation of TCP.
> Should we include the time when Linux defaulted T/TCP to "on" in that?
> Or the default-ON of ABC? I.e., there are certainly points when versions
> of Linux were clearly not RFC-compliant in more significant ways; which
> version are you referring to?

What I was meaning is that Linux at present seems to be attracting
people to check code against RFCs and implement experimental RFCs.
This is probably because Linux is "fashionable" at the moment.

I can certainly add to the list of problems as well - e.g. broken BIC
the default, DCCP implementation is broken against RFCs.

> And *WE* won't find that. If you want to look for evidence of that fact,
> then please do. But unfounded assertions do not make it so, nor does
> throwing the gauntlet at the rest of the world saying, "if you think
> this is wrong, PROVE it".
> > However Linux isn't perfect and the developers
> > do as they want.
> That's clearly true. The good news is that Linux ends up with some of
> the earliest versions of new protocols. The bad news is that Linux
> sometimes enables things as default that were never intended as such.
I think the development community for Linux is significantly different
in make up to how the BSD community was. This has its positives as
well as some negatives. Linux developers are very much in the mold of
"lets try this out and see what happens".

> > I think the bigger issue is that there are academics in one corner and
> > implementors in another and usually they are not the same people and
> > often don't even talk to each other.
> If I'm the academic in this discussion, note that I have a number of
> patches that fixed bugs in FreeBSD. Just because I don't work on Linux
> doesn't render me an academic.
> However, you're right - we're not all in the same corner. I'm in the
> IETF corner, as are developers from other OS's, and right now it seems
> like you're representing the Linux community in their corner demanding
> that we all come over there for a chat (see below).
I'm not saying you need to chat. I'm saying notify bugs to the
relevant place (see also below)

> > Linux is a meritocracy so if
> > people from this list were to go over to the netdev mailing list and
> > make a reasonable argument then it will get listened to.
> That's the disconnect here. *THE* place for this sort of discussion is
> the IETF, which this list is a peripheral (IRTF) party to. Perhaps the
> discussion should occur on TSVWG, or even TCPM. But expecting us to take
> this to the Linux community is a disconnect on how standards bodies work.
But surely if you say Linux is broken and then you don't inform the
relevant developers then how will it get fixed? Its nice to moan about
a broken TCP implementation but if you talk about that within your own
community it doesn't get fixed.

I'm referring specifically to the situations where people are saying
Linux is not following the RFCs. The rest of the discussion quite
rightly does belong here.

> Again, we don't all work on Linux. Linux cannot demand that of the
> world. The Linux community needs to participate in the bodies of
> standards it uses, and expect that of its developers.
> I know of no standards body that sends emissaries to developer
> communities (at best, they send emissaries to other standards bodies).
> The converse is the way things work; Linux is implementing IETF
> protocols, and has an *obligation* to participate in the IETF, where
> other communities participate.
What I am trying to do is help bridge some of the gaps. I see the
disconnect between the two communities and want to help remove some of
that distance. The reason that I didn't directly do this myself in
this case as I didn't understand the issue myself properly - other
times I do.

I encourage people to post comments to relevant Linux people if they
are concerned. I know from personal experience that it has helped
immensely. There are a few RFC authors now corresponding with Linux
developers and that has helped the code base in TCP and DCCP.

Web: http://wand.net.nz/~iam4
Blog: http://imcdnzl.blogspot.com
WAND Network Research Group

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