[Servercert-wg] Document Versioning

Tobias S. Josefowitz tobij at opera.com
Wed Aug 21 10:38:30 MST 2019

Hi Dimitris, Ryan,

On Wed, 21 Aug 2019, Ryan Sleevi via Servercert-wg wrote:

> 1) Objections over Process
> 2) Objections over Numbering
> Process:
> - This is objecting to the notion that Ballots can assign version numbers
> *at all*, and a view that Ballots should not be assigning versions at all
> (except for placeholders to be filled by the Chair)
> - Forms of this include:
>  - "This is how we've always done it"
>  - "What if we have multiple ballots?"
>  - "The Chair should be able to change the version number / tables at will"
> Numbering:
> - This is an objection over the specific numbers chosen
> - Forms of this include:
>  - "This wouldn't be an issue if the versions were sequential"
>  - "What if someone chose a version 100"
>  - "People will be confused by why there are gaps"
> I have no regard for the Process objections, precisely because it's a
> Ballot following our Bylaws, and it's right within the text of the thing
> we're voting on. It's functionally part of the document itself, at present,
> and if we want to change that, we need to change our Bylaws (and, likely,
> our Charter) so that the Chair of the CWG can exercise version control of
> the documents. While the exact color we paint that bikeshed can be deferred
> until later, objecting to using a Ballot to change the text in a Final
> Maintenance Guideline rings hollow, so let's just ignore those objections,
> because I don't think we'll find consensus on the substance of objections.

I am sure the Chair has no intentions to actually object to any of this, 
and is probably rather more perplexed that you would would invoke a formal 
interpretation of the bylaws over what the Chair perceives to be 
established and standing procedure that has been working well so far, and 
is trying to convince themselves that this is actually what you ask for. 
Or so I hope.

> If we want to talk about _why_ the numbers were chosen, and _why_ they're
> strictly better than the monotonically increasing number being used here,
> the rationale chosen was "This is removing something previously permitted"
> - i.e. a breaking change - and that's exactly the kind of thing you'd want
> to signal with a version number. When we add things; say, adding an LEI
> identifier (as proposed by Tim recently), that doesn't require CAs to go
> and change any existing processes. On the other hand, changing the maximum
> age for the certificates and validity does affect existing deployments: the
> kind of thing that's extremely useful to signal with a major version bump.

I personally find your arguments around this very convincing and find 
myself very much in favour. I do however think that simply starting to do 
this in a ballot without giving motivation (now a void argument, I 
understand) will hardly lead to this scheme being even semi-consistently 
applied in the future, which I am even more in favour of than of doing it 
just once or when the ballots in question are drafted by you.


More information about the Servercert-wg mailing list