[dns-operations] [DNSOP] dnsop-any-notimp violates the DNS standards

Darcy Kevin (FCA) kevin.darcy at fcagroup.com
Mon Mar 9 23:27:34 UTC 2015

My 2 cents...

It is commonplace, these days, to clearly enumerate "MANDATORY TO IMPLEMENT" elements of a protocol specification. But, this was not the typical practice at the time RFCs 1034/1035 was written, and I don't think we can apply modern standards-parlance retroactively. RFC 1034/1035 certainly marked some protocol elements as "optional" or "experimental", e.g.
-  inverse query opcode ("optional")
-  the MG, MINFO, MR and NULL RR types ("experimental")
- negative-caching via the inclusion of an SOA RR in the Additional Section of the response ("optional")
yet, none of the QTYPEs defined in the RFCs are so labelled.

In the face of such circumstantial evidence, I would say that conformance to RFCs 1034/1035 requires implementation, to some degree, of all QTYPEs defined in those RFCs, That, to me, is a reasonable reading of the document. "RCODE=NOTIMP exists, ergo any/all QTYPEs which aren't also RR types[1], are optional to implement" is not, IMO, a reasonable reading, but admittedly, the "MANDATORY TO IMPLEMENT" construct probably came into vogue in the first place, to forestall any such shaky interpretations.

Now, having said that, I think it would be standards-conforming for an implementation to always answer with RCODE=REFUSED, always answer with NODATA, or to pick only certain RR types, more-or-less arbitrarily, (e.g. A and AAAA) and only answer with RRs matching those RR types (as a way to minimize the amplification effect), in response to QTYPE=* queries. None of those would be violations of the standard, which in no way usurps local administrative control over what queries get substantive responses, versus those which do not, nor commits an implementation to rigorously tracking down *every* RRset owned by the QNAME of a given QTYPE=* query. But, I have to agree with Dan: NOTIMP in response to QTYPE=* is not standards-conforming. As for his meta-argument that DNSOP cannot make changes to the protocol, I'm still mulling that one over, in light of the charter language.

											- Kevin

[1] The reason for the "which aren't also RR types" qualification is that RFC 1123, Section states that "DNS software MUST support all well-known, class-independent formats  [sic]". While 1123 is silent on QTYPEs, _per_se_, at least the set of [QTYPEs that are also well-known, class-independent RR types], as of the date of 1123's publication, fall within mandatory-to-implement, and there is no need to debate over those.

-----Original Message-----
From: DNSOP [mailto:dnsop-bounces at ietf.org] On Behalf Of David C Lawrence
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2015 12:24 PM
To: dnsop at ietf.org; dns-operations at dns-oarc.net
Subject: Re: [DNSOP] [dns-operations] dnsop-any-notimp violates the DNS standards

RFC 1035 explicitly allows for a server to indicate that a kind of query is not implemented.

Whether it is a good idea to respond to ANY this way is a separate argument that is worth having.  You just won't win on the foundation that it is a violation of the standard.

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