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RFC 3930

One of my favourite networking papers has been updated. Donald Eastlake has issued a new RFC for "The Protocol versus Document Points of View in Computer Protocols". Here's an excerpt:

   DOCUM: What is important are complete (digital) documents, analogous
      to pieces of paper, viewed by people.  A major concern is to be
      able to present such documents as directly as possible to a court
      or other third party.  Because what is presented to the person is
      all that is important, anything that can effect this, such as a
      "style sheet", MUST be considered part of the document.
      Sometimes it is forgotten that the "document" originates in a
      computer, may travel over, be processed in, and be stored in
      computer systems, and is viewed on a computer, and that such
      operations may involve transcoding, enveloping, or data
      reconstruction.
   PROTO: What is important are bits on the wire generated and consumed
      by well-defined computer protocol processes.  No person ever sees
      the full messages as such; it is only viewed as a whole by geeks
      when debugging, and even then they only see some translated
      visible form.  If one actually ever has to demonstrate something
      about such a message in a court or to a third party, there isn't
      any way to avoid having computer experts interpret it.  Sometimes
      it is forgotten that pieces of such messages may end up being
      included in or influencing data displayed to a person.

The rest is here: RFC 3930. Enjoy.


October 28, 2004 09:00 PM

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