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Re: glibc's getaddrinfo() sort order

Anthony Towns writes ("Re: glibc's getaddrinfo() sort order"):
> As it happens I largely agree with that. I don't agree with making a
> decision to go against an IETF standard and glibc upstream lightly,
> though, no matter how many caps Ian expends repeating that it's at the
> least mature level of Internet standard.

GETHOSTBYNAME.  I wonder how familiar you are with Internet protocol
standardisation, and the IETF ?  The purely document-oriented and de
jure approach your taking doesn't seem to match actual Internet
practice very well. Internet standards are living documents describing
an evolving network.  It is well known that if you read the RFCs as
your only source of guideance for implementation you will go badly
wrong.  Making reference to an RFC which contradicts long-established
existing behaviour is rather beside the point.

Secondly: RFC3484 mandates that all applications should change, even
those using gethostbyname.  (You have completely ignored this point.)

Thirdly: I'm not saying we should make this decision lightly.  Saying
we "shouldn't go against ... lightly" is just weasel-words.  Is this
discussion "[going] against ... lightly" ?  No, of course not.  What
that argument would really be if you had any confidence in it would be
"shouldn't go against ... at all" - but of course that's absurd.

I would like to expand on this point about standards.

Slavish adherence to standards, or to the views of mistaken upstreams,
is a generally a mistake.  This is particularly the case for the
Debian Technical Committee.

The TC's job is to decide what the correct behaviour is, by
considering the technical merits.  The TC's job is not to interpret
standards documents.  (Indeed, within our jurisdiction, our job
includes changing them if we disagree with them.)

Obviously we need to use standards documents to help understand the
behaviour of the actual computing systems, to understand what is
expected of our systems and what responses other systems are likely to
produce.  If we find ourself in clear disagreement with a standard we
ought to ask ourselves whether we're sure we really understand the
situation fully.

As the implementor of a DNS resolver library, a past IETF participant,
a DNS administrator, and someone who's followed some of the IPv6
transition work, I'm convinced I have that understanding.

If you feel you don't have that understanding them please ask the
questions which would help you gain it.  I think we should be able to
answer them.


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