[spec] The updated speculative specification is now up

nervuri nervuri at disroot.org
Tue Apr 6 17:50:08 BST 2021


On Mon, 2021-04-05, Sean Conner wrote:
>
>  The updated protocol (only) specification is now up and can be read at:
>
>	https://gitlab.com/gemini-specification/protocol/-/blob/master/specification.gmi

Thank you.  A few thoughts:

I recommend making each change in a separate commit, to make it easier
to isolate and comment on.  In a huge diff like this [1] it's easy to
miss small, but important changes.

[1] https://gitlab.com/gemini-specification/protocol/-/commit/0235100151b57d9f5c3384acdacb4ad9986f7ae4?expanded=1&view=inline

> The use of an existing TLS library SHOULD be used, but because not all
> existing TLS libraries support TLS 1.3, then at this time (2021),
> implementations MUST support TLS version 1.2 or higher.

You probably meant to start with "An existing TLS library SHOULD be
used", but what does this actually mean?  Existing as of when?  If
someone makes a new TLS library, it will also exist.  Also, many
libraries are abandoned, so it will never be the case that "all existing
TLS libraries" will support TLS 1.3, or even 1.2.

I don't think the final Gemini specification should mention libraries at
all.  They may be ok as a temporary justification for why TLS 1.2 is in
the spec, but let's see if we can get more clarity on this: what exactly
are we waiting for before TLS 1.3 becomes the minimum version?  Support
in BearSSL (which may never be added)?  Support in X% of clients and Y%
of servers?  Hard to say, isn't it?

> TLS 1.2 will send the server name and the client certificate (if used)
> in the clear

TLS 1.3 also sends the server name (SNI) in the clear, unless ECH/ESNI
is used.  The issue here is that TLS 1.2 is not compatible with
ECH/ESNI.  But even with TLS 1.3, public keys need to be put in DNS in
order for ECH/ESNI to work, so it will probably not be a mainstream
feature (although it should be encouraged).

> A client MAY warn a user of a TLS 1.2 connection is established, and
> SHOULD warn the user of a client certifiate will be transmitted via
> TLS 1.2.

It's "if" rather than "of", right?


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