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Internet Draft                                            L. Donnerhacke
Category: Proposed Standard                               Editor (DENOG)
Updates: 4291, 5952                                     Richard Hartmann
Expires: April 6, 2011                                    Editor (DENOG)
                                                         October 6, 2010

                       Naming IPv6 address parts
               draft-denog-v6ops-addresspartnaming-02.txt

Status of this Memo

   This Internet-Draft is submitted to IETF in full conformance with the
   provisions of BCP 78 and BCP 79.

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   This Internet-Draft will expire on April 6, 2011.

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2010 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
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Abstract

   In the daily communication between technicians, engineers and other
   people who need to deal with computer networks, it is often necessary
   to refer to particular parts of IP addresses. In the world of IPv4,
   the term "octet" is well established, however as the use of IPv6 is
   spreading, it becomes apparent that there is no such commonly
   accepted term for IPv6 addresses.

   Discussing and explaining technical matters become difficult when
   different people use different terms for the same thing. Therefore,
   this document discusses several naming proposal for those 16bit
   pieces of IPv6 addreses.

Table of Contents

   1. Introduction ..................................................  3
   2. Rationale .....................................................  3
   3. Naming Considerations .........................................  4
   4. Naming Proposals ..............................................  4
      4.1. Chazwazza ................................................  4
      4.2. Chunk ....................................................  4
      4.3. Column ...................................................  4
      4.4. Colonade, Colonnade ......................................  4
      4.5. Doctet ...................................................  4
      4.6. Field ....................................................  5
      4.7. Hexadectet ...............................................  5
      4.8. Hit ......................................................  5
      4.9. Orone ....................................................  5
      4.10. Part ....................................................  5
      4.11. Provider number, customer number, network number ........  5
      4.12. Quad nibble, qibble, quibble ............................  5
      4.13. Segment .................................................  6
      4.14. Tuple ...................................................  6
      4.15. Word ....................................................  6
   5. Security Considerations .......................................  6
   6. IANA Considerations ...........................................  6
   7. References ....................................................  6
      7.1. Normative References .....................................  6
      7.2. Informal References ......................................  6
   8. Acknowledgements ..............................................  7










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1. Introduction

   Verbal and written communication requires a common set of terms, eas-
   ily understood by every potential party. While deploying IPv6, when
   refering to segments of IPv6 addresses, confusion regularly arises
   due to the usage of different and sometimes conflicting nomenclature
   for the same pieces of information.

   [IPV6Addr] is the normative reference to IPv6 addressing and avoids
   to coin a special term for the subject of this document itself:
      The preferred form is x:x:x:x:x:x:x:x, where the 'x's are one to
      four hexadecimal digits of the eight 16-bit pieces of the address.

   [IPv6Rep] is the normative reference to IPv6 address text representa-
   tion and introduces the term "16-bit field" or short "field".

2. Rationale

   While we readily agree that the naming of IPv6 address parts is not
   the most pressing concern the Internet is facing today, a common
   nomenclature is important for efficient communication.

   In IPv6 deployments the delimiting colons are regularly used to
   facilitate the separation of labels discerning not only administra-
   tive boundaries but also network segments and distinct infrastructure
   components. Consequently the values between the colons are frequently
   refered to especially in communication regarding coordinative mat-
   ters.

   Time spent explaining what one is referring to is wasted and con-
   flicting names can lead to misunderstanding while the usage of a com-
   mon term helps facilitating quick understanding.

   To solve this problem, the specification of a precise and recogniz-
   able term is advised.

   A typical ambiguity occurs in [IPv6Rep] which uses the term "field"
   or "16-bit field" for the term in question. This case is interesting
   because there was a short IETF WG discussion which term should be
   used.
      If an IPv6 address field in a certificate was incorrectly verified
      by converting it to text ...

   Since parts of the internet community only accept authoritative
   advice substantiated by a published document, also known as the
   'citation needed' approach, it is helpful to have a definite source.





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3. Naming Considerations

   Any term that can be confused with other technical terms due to pho-
   netic similarities can lead to misconfiguration causing reachability
   and security risks to the involved parties. Even with English being
   the preferred language in the IT world today, a good name should
   describe the technical matter precisely while being easy to remember,
   spell and pronounce in as many languages as possible.

4. Naming Proposals

   We are presenting a broadest selection of mostly serious proposals
   which needs to be narrowed in the future by straw polls and finally
   select one using normal IETF consensus.

4.1. Chazwazza

   "Chazwazza" was proposed as a Simpsons reference, see [greg]. While
   this is certainly a unique term in the networking world, it is not
   particularly meaningful nor easy to pronounce.

4.2. Chunk

   A chunk is commonly understood to be a specific amount of data. The
   term is not unique to IPv6, however easy to remember and pronounce.

4.3. Column

   The colons in an IPv6 address' text representation make it similar to
   a table. Besides that, the meaning of the word "column" has very lit-
   tle to do with the actual technical meaning of a 16bit piece of an
   IPv6 address, though.

4.4. Colonade, Colonnade

   Based on the colon as seperator the word sounds English (using a sin-
   gle 'n' to make it an artificial word) and is easy to spell and pro-
   nounce.  Alternatively, "colonnade" could be used, overloading the
   existing, yet unrelated word with a new meaning.

4.5. Doctet

   Derived from "double octet", thus accurately describes the technical
   matter, as an octet is a standard term for a sequence of 8 bits.







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4.6. Field

   A "field" describes a form of a data structure in many programming
   languages. The term stresses the fact that a field is one of multiple
   fractions of a bigger subject, just like countryside is divided into
   fields, or like IPv6 addresses into 16bit long pieces. A drawback of
   that similarity is the lack of uniqueness to IPv6, though.

4.7. Hexadectet

   "Hexadectet" is directly derived from IPv4's "octet", thus techni-
   cally correct and probably convenient to get used to. On the other
   hand, it is much harder to pronounce.

4.8. Hit

   Short for "hex-bit", short and convenient to pronounce, however usu-
   ally associated with a completely different meaning.

4.9. Orone

   Initially started as a typo in [greg], "orone" is a short, unique
   word without a specific meaning yet.

4.10. Part

   The word "part" has been used throughout this document to describe
   the subject until there is a better term for this. It is very unspe-
   cific and can be used in countless ways, not only to describe 16bit
   long parts of an IPv6 address.

4.11. Provider number, customer number, network number

   These terms provide semantic descriptions of the different parts of
   an IPv6 address. However, it is not within the scope of this document
   to find terms describing semantic, but rather syntactic elements.

   Furthermore, naming the 16bit pieces of IPv6 addresses in a semantic
   way would introduce new problems, like limited applicability, e.g. it
   would not work for multicast addresses.

4.12. Quad nibble, qibble, quibble

   A nibble is a 4bit entity, hence 16 bits are a quad nibble. This is a
   rather bulky word, however, so "quibble" is a convenient abbrevia-
   tion. Also, it is a unique term, thus eliminating any chances of mis-
   interpretation.




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4.13. Segment

   "Segment" is another obvious choice, however it is also quite unspe-
   cific and used in different contexts, e.g. "network segments".

4.14. Tuple

   A tuple is a sequence of typically heterogenous elements considered
   as a new entity by itself. It is also a short, descriptive word that
   is not yet associated with anything networking related. Usually a
   tuple exceeds grouping by creating a new semantic level.

4.15. Word

   A "word" usually refers to a fixed group of bits that are processed
   at a time, and especially on legacy x86 systems is a synonym for 16
   bits. It has a different and much more unspecific meaning to less
   technically skilled people, which might be problematic.

5. Security Considerations

   This memo does not directly discuss security issues, however the lack
   of a common, well established term could theoretically lead to misin-
   terpretation, possible leading to insecure configuration of computer
   systems.

6. IANA Considerations

   No assignments by the IANA are required. However it is considered
   desirable that the IANA adopts the term in future documents.

7. References

7.1. Normative References

   [IPV6Addr] Deering, S. and R. Hinden, "IP Version 6 Addressing
              Architecture", RFC 4291, February 2006

   [IPv6Rep]  Kawamura, S. and Kawashima, M., "A Recommendation for IPv6
              Address Text Representation", RFC 5952, August 2010

   [Q.6]      ITU-T, "Advantages of international automatic working",
              Fascicle VI.1 of the Blue Book, 1988

7.2. Informal References

   [greg]     http://etherealmind.com/network-dictionary-chazwazza/,
              Sept 5, 2010



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8. Acknowledgements

   Thanks go to Greg Ferro who initiated the discussion by proposing the
   term "chazwazza".[greg]

   Thanks all the people who read to this point and are willing to
   provide valuable input instead of simply shaking their heads and
   moving on.

   The inital version of this document was created following the spirit
   of [Q.6].

Authors' Addresses

   Lutz Donnerhacke
   Leutragraben 1
   07743 Jena
   Germany
   Tel: 1.6.5.3.7.5.1.4.6.3.9.4.e164.arpa.
   EMail: lutz@thur.de

   Richard Hartmann
   Munich
   Germany
   Email: richih.mailinglist@gmail.com
   http://richardhartmann.de

   Michael Horn
   Po Box 540153
   10042 Berlin
   Germany
   http://nibbler.tel/

   Kay Rechthien
   Netsign GmbH
   Lindenallee 27
   14050 Berlin
   Germany
   EMail: kre@netsign.eu

   Leon Weber
   Ahornstrasse 5d
   01458 Ottendorf-Okrilla
   Germany
   EMail: leon@whitejack.org






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Supporter's Addresses

   Ronny Boesger
   Lahnsteiner Strasse 7
   07629 Hermsdorf
   eMail: rb@isppro.de

   Thorsten Dahm
   Josefstrasse 21
   66265 Heusweiler
   Germany
   EMail: t.dahm@resolution.de

   Joerg Dorchain
   Harspergerflur 23
   66740 Saarlouis
   Germany
   EMail: joerg@dorchain.net

   Sascha Lenz
   s-lz.net
   Zum Oberbaeumle 49
   97318 Kitzingen
   Germany
   E-Mail: sascha.lenz@s-lz.net

   Jens Link
   Freelance Consultant
   Foelderichstr. 40
   13595 Berlin
   Germany
   EMail: jl@jenslink.net

   Jan Walzer
   Kopernikusstrasse 2
   68519 Viernheim
   Germany
   EMail: jan.w@lzer.net

   Sebastian Wiesinger
   Germany
   EMail: sebastian@karotte.org









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Appendix A. Change History

   00 - inital version

   01 - Jens Link moved from Author to Supporter
      - Leon Weber moved from Supporter to Author
      - numerous typographic fixes
      - added "field" from [IPv6Rep] as proposal and as reason
      - added "part" for completeness
      - dismissed "hextet / hexatet / sixlet"
      - created sub sections for each proposal
      - added update notification of RFC4291 and RFC5952
      - added a "Security considerations" section

   02 - Fixing nits
      - Propose a selection mechanism



































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