[ppml] ":" - Re: Proposed Policy: 4-Byte AS Number Policy Proposal

Stephen Sprunk stephen at sprunk.org
Tue Dec 13 15:09:29 EST 2005

Thus spake "Geoff Huston" <gih at apnic.net>
> At 09:45 PM 13/12/2005, Daniel Roesen wrote:
>>On Mon, Dec 12, 2005 at 04:35:05PM -0500, Edward Lewis wrote:
>> > The syntax "a:b" does not appear in that document.  Is it defined
>> > elsewhere?  The use of the ":" as separator bothers me as that is
>> > used in IPv6 address notation.
>>And in community syntax, for both standard communities and
>>extended communities (which become very very ugly with this
>> notation).
>>But you are right, probably not the place to discuss that, although
>>this document text would set a precedence.
> I will revise the proposal with a '.' rather than a ':' delimiter.

Am I the only one concerned that some buggy humans or code may interpret AS 
1.0 as being the same as AS 1?

I agree the colon is problematic, but it seems every punctuation character
is already taken for some purpose or looks downright dumb.  Why do we need a 
separator at all, and are the RIRs really in the business of designating 
what it is?

IMHO, the proposal should be revised to eliminate the separator but leave
enough flexibility for one to be used if the IETF specifies one in the
future -- or alternate display formats such as hex.

I'm also not thrilled with "2-byte only" and "4-byte only" ASN; there's too
much chance of confusion with "2-byte" and "4-byte" ASNs which have a
different enough meaning to warrant a better distinction.  I'd prefer
something like "legacy" vs. "expanded", "low" vs. "high", etc.


Stephen Sprunk         "God does not play dice."  --Albert Einstein
CCIE #3723         "God is an inveterate gambler, and He throws the
K5SSS        dice at every possible opportunity." --Stephen Hawking
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