Writing protocol models

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On of my big complaints about technical writing is the tendency authors have to focus on details while missing the big picture. This is a particular annoyance when you're trying to review some system that's described purely in terms of some PDUs1 and a state diagram and the first thing you have to do is figure out how the protocol works before you can actually review it. RFC 4101 is a probably quixotic attempt to help correct this situation:
Writing Protocol Models
Eric Rescorla and the Internet Architecture Board

The IETF process depends on peer review. However, IETF documents are generally written to be useful for implementors, not reviewers. In particular, while great care is generally taken to provide a complete description of the state machines and bits on the wire, this level of detail tends to get in the way of initial understanding. This document describes an approach for providing protocol "models" that allow reviewers to quickly grasp the essence of a system.

Also, today the IESG approved Datagram TLS and Pre-Shared Key Ciphersuites for Transport Layer Security (TLS) as Proposed Standards.

1. Protocol Data Units---protocol messages

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1 Comments

Your link to the DTLS draft is broken.
Try this for the DTLS draft.

Nice work on the draft guys -- and the OpenSSL implementation.

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