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

Kevin Loch kloch at hotnic.net
Tue Dec 13 15:37:34 EST 2005

Stephen Sprunk wrote:
> 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?

I think RIR's should be concerned with the allocation of resources,
not the semantics of how they are written down.  If a notation
is not in common use elsewhere it should be avoided for clarity.
In this case there is no common notation yet to it would be best
to avoid any notation and focus on the integer values themselves
(see below).

> 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 like hex but that would mean reconfiguring every bgp router on the
planet unless something clumsy like "0x" was prepended in text form for
hex labels.

> 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.

I agree.  The most exact definition would be "ASN's greater than 65535"
and "ASN's less than or equal to 65535" but that could be abbreviated as
"legacy/expanded" or "small/big" with proper definitions.

- Kevin

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