[ppml] Policy Proposal 2005-9: 4-Byte AS Number

Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com Michael.Dillon at btradianz.com
Thu Dec 22 10:17:58 EST 2005

> The problem with "plain English" is that it conveys less information
> and/or is more ambiguous than precisely defining and then properly using
> new terminology. 

This is not so. Please read the Securities and
Exchange Commission's handbook on Plain English.
You only need to read the Preface, Introduction and
the first chapter to the end of page 6. After that
it will be clear that PLAIN ENGLISH does not convey
less information, is less ambiguous and does not require
the audience to be an expert in any particular NEW


>If that were not the case, jargon would not be so
> prevalent nor so useful.

Jargon is useful because it is a shared language
among a small group of people who are "special". 
Thieves use it, kid use it, and scientists use it.
In all cases they use it to make communication
between themselves clearer while obscuring their
meaning to outsiders. You can see this clearly in 
scientific papers and technical books which go to
great pains to define the language that they use.
The end result is that the language is not intelligible
to people who do not pass through these "gateways" 
and learn the special language.

I will admit that we cannot entirely avoid Internet
related terminology in ARIN, however there is no need
for POLICIES to use obscure terminology in an organization
that claims to act for the benefit of all citizens of 
the countries in its service area.

>  Because the real world drives
> ARIN policy, ARIN cannot simply ignore that fact and blithely continue 
> allocate autonomous system numbers of 65536 and above without working 
> the routing community (represented by the IETF, BGP implementors, NANOG,
> et. al.) to ensure such numbers will be usable.  That's why this policy
> has been proposed.

There you go, writing in PLAIN ENGLISH. Do you support 
a policy that says:

On 1 January 2007, applicants for an AS number may
request that ARIN issue them a number greater than 
65535. If the applicant does not request such a number
then ARIN will issue a number less than or equal to

That is plain English, covers exactly the 1st clause of
2005-9, doesn't require a nomenclature or terminology
section, and is the kind of text I would prefer to see
in ARIN's policy handbook. The main improvement that I
can see to my suggested text is that it should have a
section number to identify where it will be added within
the policy handbook. It would also be useful for the AS
number application form to have a warning to applicants
not to apply for large AS numbers unless they know that
such numbers are supported by their equipement.

> The reason for defining 2-byte, 4-byte, and 4-byte-only ASNs in this
> *temporary* policy 

All policies are temporary.

--Michael Dillon

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