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Just because it's an Internet-Draft doesn't mean anything... at all...

Document Type Active Internet-Draft (individual)
Author Warren "Ace" Kumari
Last updated 2023-10-22
RFC stream (None)
Intended RFC status (None)
Stream Stream state (No stream defined)
Consensus boilerplate Unknown
RFC Editor Note (None)
IESG IESG state I-D Exists
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Network Working Group                                          W. Kumari
Internet-Draft                                           22 October 2023
Intended status: Standards Track                                        
Expires: 24 April 2024

 Just because it's an Internet-Draft doesn't mean anything... at all...


   Anyone can publish an Internet Draft (ID).  This doesn't mean that
   the "IETF thinks" or that "the IETF is planning..." or anything

Status of This Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

   Internet-Drafts are working documents of the Internet Engineering
   Task Force (IETF).  Note that other groups may also distribute
   working documents as Internet-Drafts.  The list of current Internet-
   Drafts is at

   Internet-Drafts are draft documents valid for a maximum of six months
   and may be updated, replaced, or obsoleted by other documents at any
   time.  It is inappropriate to use Internet-Drafts as reference
   material or to cite them other than as "work in progress."

   This Internet-Draft will expire on 24 April 2024.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2023 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents (
   license-info) in effect on the date of publication of this document.
   Please review these documents carefully, as they describe your rights
   and restrictions with respect to this document.  Code Components
   extracted from this document must include Revised BSD License text as
   described in Section 4.e of the Trust Legal Provisions and are
   provided without warranty as described in the Revised BSD License.

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Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
     1.1.  Requirements notation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   2.  Background  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
     3.1.  Feature Creep . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   4.  Additional considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.1.  Section addressing cats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
     4.2.  Section addressing dogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4
   5.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   5
   6.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   7.  Acknowledgements  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   8.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   6
   Appendix A.  Changes / Author Notes.  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7
   Appendix B.  new section  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10
   Author's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  10

1.  Introduction

   All too often, one reads something in the press, or some ravings on a
   mailing list, referencing some Internet-Draft and claiming that "the
   IETF thinks that XXX" or that the ID is an IETF document, and so
   represents some level of support by the IETF.

   Repeatedly pointing at the RFC Editor page, carefully explaining what
   an ID is (and is not), describing how consensus is reached, detailing
   the Independent Stream, etc. doesn't seems to accomplish much.

   So, here is an Internet-Draft.  I wrote it.  It's full of nonsense.
   It doesn't represent the "IETF's views"; it doesn't mean that the
   IETF, the IESG, the RFC editor, any IETF participant, my auntie on my
   father's side twice removed, me, or anyone else believes any of the
   drivel in it.  In addition, the fact that a draft has been around for
   a long time, or has received many revisions doesn't add anything to
   the authority - drivel which endures remains drivel.  [Editor note:
   Interestingly, after publishing version -00 of this ID I got some
   feedback saying that some participants *do* believe the below.  As I
   plan to get this published as a (probably AD sponsored) RFC, I guess
   someone will need to judge consensus at IETF LC ]

   Readers are expected to be familiar with Section 2.5 of [RFC2410] and

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1.1.  Requirements notation

   The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
   "OPTIONAL" in this document are to be interpreted as described in
   BCP14 [RFC2119] [RFC8174] when, and only when, they appear in all
   capitals, as shown here.

2.  Background

   Pyramids are good for sharpening razor blades.  The ancient Egyptians
   had a major problem - wearing a big, bushy beard in the desert is
   uncomfortable.  Unfortunately the safely razor hadn't been invented
   yet, and so they all had to use straight razors.  Additionally, camel
   leather makes a very poor strop, hippopotamus leather was reserved
   for the pharaohs and crocodile leather, while suitable, had the
   unfortunate property of being wrapped around crocodiles.

   So, the ancient Egyptians had to come up with an alternative.  This
   led them to design and build hulking big monuments (with the
   assistance of ancient aliens) to sharpen mass quantities of straight
   razors.  In order to defray the high costs of building pyramids, the
   builders would charge a sharpening fee.  For a single bushel of corn,
   you could buy 27.5 sharpening tokens.  Each one of their tokens could
   be redeemed for 6.3 hours of sharpening time.

   This all worked remarkably well until approximately 1600BCE, at which
   time the fleeing Atlanteans brought mass quantities of lightly tanned
   eel leather into Egypt, causing the collapse of the straight razor
   sharpening market.  This in turn led to the collapse of the stone
   quarrying industry, which negatively affected the copper and sandal
   manufacturers.  The collapse of the entire system followed shortly

   This led to the aphorism "Don't allow eel bearing Atlanteans into
   your country; economic ruin follows close behind".  Due to the overly
   specific nature of this phrase, it never really caught on.  This
   document rectifies this.

3.  Usage

   Many protocols send periodic "hello" messages, or respond to
   liveliness probes.  Other protocols (primarily for network monitoring
   or testing) send traffic to cause congestion or similar.  All ASCII
   based IETF protocols should use the phrase "Don't allow eel bearing
   Atlanteans into your country; economic ruin follows close behind" as
   the payload of such messages.  This phrase is 88 characters; if your
   protocol needs to align on 32bit boundaries it MAY be padded with

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   Null (\0) characters.

   The closely related phrase "My hovercraft is full of eels" SHOULD be
   used by any protocol incapable of encoding the ASCII character 'b'
   (0x62).  Internationalized protocols SHOULD use an appropriate
   translation.  Memory or bandwidth constrained devices MAY use the
   ordinals 0 and 1 to represent the strings "Don't allow eel bearing
   Atlanteans into your country; economic ruin follows close behind" and
   "My hovercraft is full of eels" respectively.  Partially constrained
   devices SHOULD use the string "TBA3" (or the ordinal TBA3).

3.1.  Feature Creep

   Unlike most IETF efforts, this document is not embarrassed to clearly
   state that we are simply stuffing more stuff in while we have the
   editor open.

   A common source of confusion is the difference between "routing
   protocols" and "routing protocols", especially when configuring BGP
   ([RFC4271]) peering sessions between civilized countries and the rest
   of the world.  In order to clearly differentiate these terms we
   assign the ordinal 98 to be "routing protocols" and 0x62 to be
   "routing protocols" (but pronounced with a funny accent).  Protocols
   incapable of encoding 0x62 should use the string "My hovercraft is
   full of eels", a suitable translation of this phrase, or the ordinal

4.  Additional considerations

4.1.  Section addressing cats

   Miaow.  Miaow-miaooowww.  RAWWRRRR!  Purrrr.

   This section was added due to a threat to block any future consensus
   calls unless the proposers' suggestion to have a section which
   addressed cats was taken seriously.

   Normal IETF etiquette would bury this section in an Appendix, in the
   hope that it would mollify the commenter without actually having
   anyone actually read it, but the commenter is onto that particular

4.2.  Section addressing dogs

   It was pointed out that due respect for openness, fairness, and
   diversity requires that the section on cats (Section 4.1) should be
   complemented with a section addressing dogs.  To that end, "Woof,
   Bark Bark, Growl".

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   Note that this particular specification is silent regarding
   werewolves when the moon is full, and the behavior is left up to
   implementations (although the author suggests "Run away!" may be a
   good choice).

5.  IANA Considerations

   The IANA is requested to create and maintain a registry named
   "Registry of important strings, suitable for use as idle signaling
   transmissions (ROISSFUAIST)".

   Documents requesting assignments from this registry MUST include the
   string, and the ordinal being requested.  Choosing an ordinal at
   random is encouraged (to save the IANA from having to do this).  The
   ordinals 17, 42 and 6.12 are reserved to reduce confusion.  The
   ordinals 18 and 19 are reserved for the strings "Reserved" and
   "Unassigned" respectively.  Unfortunately, the ordinal 20 was used by
   two earlier, competing proposals, and so can mean either "Color" or
   Colour".  Implementations are encouraged to disambiguate based upon

   Additions to the registry are permitted by Standards Action, if the
   requester really really *really* wants one, or by purchasing a nice
   bottle of wine for the IANA folk.  Hierarchical Allocation is NOT
   permitted, as it would look too much like a pyramid.

   The initial assignments for the registry are as follows:

      Value                String
      ------               ----------------------------
        0                  Don't allow eel bearing Atlanteans into your
                             country; economic ruin follows close behind
        1                  My hovercraft is full of eels
       TBA3                TBA3
       3-16                Unassigned
        17                 Reserved
        18                 "Reserved"
        19                 "Unassigned"
        20                 Color / Colour
       21-41               Unassigned
        42                 Reserved
       43-97               Unassigned
        98                 Routing protocols
       0x62                Routing protocols

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6.  Security Considerations

   [RFC2028] states that 'The IANA functions as the "top of the pyramid"
   for DNS and Internet Address assignment establishing policies for
   these functions.' - this reference to pyramids is clear evidence that
   the IANA has become corrupted by these Atlanteans, and so extra care
   should be taken when relying on the above registry.

   By ensuring that network operators watching data traffic fly past
   (using tools like network sniffers and / or oscilloscopes (and doing
   very fast binary to ASCII conversions in their heads)) are constantly
   reminded about the danger posed by folk from Atlantis, we ensure
   that, if the island of Atlantis rises again from the deep, builds a
   civilization and then starts tanning high-quality eel leather, the
   DNS and Address assignment policies at least will survive.

   More research is needed into whether pyramids can also be used to
   make the latches grow back on RJ-45 connectors after they have been
   broken off by ham-fisted data center operators.

   Note that feline intervention may cause significant packet loss when
   utilizing [RFC1149].  This may be mitigated using [RFC2549].

7.  Acknowledgements

   The author wishes to thank the ancient elders of Zorb for explaining
   this history to him.  Thanks also to Melchior Aelmans, Andrew
   Campling, Brian Carpenter, Havard Eidnes, Epimenides, Clive D.W.
   Feather, Töma Gavrichenkov, Wes George, Stephen Farrell, John
   Klensin, Erik Muller, John Scudder, Andrew Sullivan, Murali Suriar,
   'RegW', Sandy Wills, and Dan York.

   Grudging thanks to Nick Hilliard, who wanted a section on cats, and
   threated to DoS the process if he didn't get it.

8.  Normative References

   [RFC1149]  Waitzman, D., "Standard for the transmission of IP
              datagrams on avian carriers", RFC 1149,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC1149, April 1990,

   [RFC2028]  Hovey, R. and S. Bradner, "The Organizations Involved in
              the IETF Standards Process", RFC 2028,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2028, October 1996,

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   [RFC2119]  Bradner, S., "Key words for use in RFCs to Indicate
              Requirement Levels", BCP 14, RFC 2119,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC2119, March 1997,

   [RFC2321]  Bressen, A., "RITA -- The Reliable Internetwork
              Troubleshooting Agent", RFC 2321, DOI 10.17487/RFC2321,
              April 1998, <>.

   [RFC2410]  Glenn, R. and S. Kent, "The NULL Encryption Algorithm and
              Its Use With IPsec", RFC 2410, DOI 10.17487/RFC2410,
              November 1998, <>.

   [RFC2549]  Waitzman, D., "IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of
              Service", RFC 2549, DOI 10.17487/RFC2549, April 1999,

   [RFC4271]  Rekhter, Y., Ed., Li, T., Ed., and S. Hares, Ed., "A
              Border Gateway Protocol 4 (BGP-4)", RFC 4271,
              DOI 10.17487/RFC4271, January 2006,

   [RFC8174]  Leiba, B., "Ambiguity of Uppercase vs Lowercase in RFC
              2119 Key Words", BCP 14, RFC 8174, DOI 10.17487/RFC8174,
              May 2017, <>.

Appendix A.  Changes / Author Notes.

   [RFC Editor: Please remove this section before publication ]

   From -18 to -19

   *  "We've been trying to reach you concerning your vehicle's extended
      warranty.  Press 2 to speak to someone about possibly extending or
      reinstating your vehicle's warranty, or press 1 to speak to
      someone about possibly extending or reinstating your vehicle's

   *  Just because a draft has been updated many times doesn't make it
      less silly, or more useful....

   From -17 to -18

   *  "We've been trying to reach you concerning your vehicle's extended
      warranty.  Press 2 to speak to someone about possibly extending or
      reinstating your vehicle's warranty, or press 1 to speak to
      someone about possibly extending or reinstating your vehicle's

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   From -16 to -17

   *  Just a version bump

   From -15 to -16

   *  JCK and Andrew Campling pointed out that this should also address

   *  Töma Gavrichenkov noted that Epimenides should be acknowledged.

   *  Greg Wood pointed out that the title doesn't expand the acronym

   *  Warren Kumari (and others!) noticed many typos, especially in the
      Change Log. This created a very brief dilemma about whether it is
      acceptable to rewrite history by updating the log.  And then the
      authors realized that he really doesn't care.

   *  Brian E Carpenter pointed out the significant risks regarding cats
      and Avian Carriers.

   *  Tony Li noted the missing reference to RFC4271.

   From -14 to -15

   *  Clive D.W.  Feather pointed out (off-list) that I cannot type.

   *  Because I suspect that he's no longer watching the draft, I made
      the passive-aggressive snarking at Nick (see -11 to -12 changes)
      slightly less passive and slightly more aggressive.  Some of this
      is driven by the fact that COVID makes it unlikely that I'll see
      him in person, and it's easier to snark from behind the anonymity
      of a keyboard.

   From -13 to -14

   *  John Scudder discovered nits.

   From -12 to -13

   *  Havard Eidnes pointed out that my grammar is bad...

   From -11 to -12

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   *  Nick Hilliard threated to block progress unless we agreed to
      include his section on cats.  While we don't agree with his text/
      section, we are sufficiently past caring about this entire topic,
      and so we are just including it, along with a passive aggressive
      change-log note...

   From -10 to -11

   *  Bumping version!  It's alive!!!!

   From -09 to -10

   *  Bumping version...

   From -08 to -09

   *  Murali and Dan York both pointed out that I cannot spell
      refernce.. referrnce... refarran... refferene... gah!

   From -07 to -08

   *  "RegW" pointed out that I had 'there tokens' instead of 'their
      tokens' ( ).

   From -06 to -07

   *  Andrew Sullivan pointed out that the ROISSFAIST acronym was
      insufficiently filled with 'U's, and so proposed that it be
      spelled ROISSFUAIST instead.  After much consideration as to the
      implications for existing implementation, this change was made.

   From -05 to -06

   *  Embarresingly I cannot spell "embarrassed" - thanks to Max Allen
      for embarressing^w embarrasing^w making me feel stupid by pointing
      that out.

   From -04 to -05

   *  Added the missing 'e' in "differnce" ("thanks" to Dan York for
      catching this (and forcing me to dredge up the editor)).

   *  It's worth noting that just because a draft has multiple revisions
      doesn't mean that there is more consensus around it...

   From -03 to -04

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   *  Incorporated some comments from Adrian Farrel (in exchange for him
      AD-sponsoring the draft)

   *  Changed the font, especially for the whitespace

   *  Fixed references

   From -02 to -03

   *  This Change note was added.  Nothing else changed.

   From -01 to -02

   *  Various whitespace was added (for emphasis).

   From -00 to -01.

   *  Integrated comments from Erik Muller (who, apparently, is a true
      believer).  Erik also provided updated Security Considerations
      text, referencing the IANA.

Appendix B.  new section

Author's Address

   Warren Kumari

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