pausable explanation for the Document Series

Pekka Savola pekkas at
Fri Jun 6 10:08:12 CEST 2003

On Thu, 5 Jun 2003, Bob Hinden wrote:
> >The more-core problem is industry running on protocols with design flaws 
> >and protocol bugs, which cannot be fixed because of the installed base.
> >
> >If PS was perfect, this would not be a serious problem. But it isn't so.
> First versions of anything are never perfect.  This is true for products 
> and standards.  As long as we try to solve the problem by trying to make 
> the first version perfect we will fail.  It only delays the first version 
> and causes it to miss the market need.  The only solution I know of is to 
> do new versions.  This seems to work well in industry.
> Perfection doesn't work.  Shipping products and getting bug reports works.

I partially disagree.  It's often too challenging to later change 
fundamental design decisions made early on: just shipping a spec with a 
thought like "we'll fix the issues later" seems like a recipe for 

Naturally, when updating the documents some features are ripped off, some 
clarifications added etc., but this *typically* cannot influence the basic 
way specs work.  And therefore, the core things in specs must be in very 
good shape.

In consequence, "security will be described in other documents" or 
"deployment will be considered in other documents" doesn't sound like a 
good idea.  These can often hide some very nasty surprises which affect 
your design decisions on the core spec.

Pekka Savola                 "You each name yourselves king, yet the
Netcore Oy                    kingdom bleeds."
Systems. Networks. Security. -- George R.R. Martin: A Clash of Kings

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