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Subject: RE: Reliable Messaging Spec v0-078


At this point, I believe that one spec is much easier to read than three
since all three (MS, RM, and security) cover the same architectural layer
and contribute to the combined package or message header.  One spec,
composed with care as to what is in separate sections, and with due
attention to what tags should have cardinality 0 or 1 (I am trying hard not
to use the word "optional" here since that will be interpreted in the
RFC2119 sense), will be much easier to comprehend than 3 separate specs.

We could keep them separate initially, to get some parallelism in the work,
as we are doing with RM, but they should come together before final



Martin W. Sachs
IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
P. O. B. 704
Yorktown Hts, NY 10598
914-784-7287;  IBM tie line 863-7287
Notes address:  Martin W Sachs/Watson/IBM
Internet address:  mwsachs @ us.ibm.com

"Rik Drummond" <rvd2@worldnet.att.net> on 09/24/2000 08:00:01 PM

To:   "Jim Hughes" <jfh@fs.fujitsu.com>, Martin W Sachs/Watson/IBM@IBMUS
cc:   <ebxml-transport@lists.ebxml.org>
Subject:  RE: Reliable Messaging Spec v0-078

i don't think we have decided yet if we will have three distinct specs...
ms, rm and security or whether we will roll them together... i prefer the
former....  but that is up for the trp group to decide or maybe stc.... i
think three shorter easier to read specs are better than one longer one....
best regards, rik

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Hughes [mailto:jfh@fs.fujitsu.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 24, 2000 3:02 PM
To: Martin W Sachs/Watson/IBM
Cc: ebxml-transport@lists.ebxml.org
Subject: Re: Reliable Messaging Spec v0-078


Thanks for the quick review and comments. There won't be any update before
the discussion on Wednesday, so we'll introduce your comments if you won't
be coming...

By the way, it is my understanding that all this RM material will have to
be worked into the basic MS document, so relative to your comments on
structure/terms/etc. there will be more work in this area. I'm more
concerned at this point to get agreement on the basic principles so that we
can finish a document for POC use.


At 12:01 PM 9/24/2000 -0400, Martin W Sachs/Watson/IBM wrote:

>Here are my comments on RM v0-078.
>2.2.2  Message Header - RM Info
>154:  Please change "temporarily persistent" to "persistent" everywhere.
>"Temporarily persistent" is a contradiction in terms. Somewhere in the
>there can be a non-normative discussion of when a message can be discarded
>from persistent storage.  In fact, unless the message is retained in
>persistent storage by at least one of the parties until it has been
>completely processed by the higher level, it can be irretrievably lost
>under failures such as software or node failure.
>155: Please replace "requests unreliable messaging semantics" by something
>like "indicates that the RM service is not to be used".  The parties may
>have an alternative way of obtaining reliability such as by using a
>reliable transport protocol.
>162:  See my comments on section  7.
>167:  I agree that "unspecified" is unclear but so is "best effort" (see
>comments to sect. 7).   We need a keyword which simply says that this RM
>service is not to be used.
>2.2.3  Routing Header
>173-176:  What new function does MessageServiceId provide that isn/t
>provided by SenderId and ReceiverId?  These implicitly define a specific
>instance of the MessagingService.
>184: (Table 2.2):
>    3rd line and first bullet:  Please replace "transport" by "messaging
>    service instance".
>    3rd bullet:  "a long time" is ill defined. One partner may choose a
>    different time to reset the sequence number than the other, thus
>    to spurious error indications.  We should either define an event which
>    is visible to both parties that causes reset of the sequence number or
>    require that the sequence number be preserved "forever".  Even "for
>    life of the messaging service instance" is ill-defined.
>2.3  Message Transfer Sequence
>187:  Please state that the message shall be stored in persistent storage
>before sending the acknowledgment message.  Even though this is described
>later, this is a key point that should be mentioned up front to avoid
>190:  State that the next message cannot be sent until the acknowledgment
>to the previous message is received.
>193:  Fig. 2.2 does not (and should) make it clear that the receiver must
>put the message in persistent storage before sending the acknowledgment.
>205-206:  This could be interpreted to read that the message is "processed
>appropriately" before step 4 takes place. Please delete "and processes the
>message appropriately".  An informative note could be added that it is
>permitted to pass the message to the application  for processing
>concurrently with steps 4 and 5.
>214:  Please add "or later failure recovery".
>2.5  Detection of Repeated Messages
>225-226:  It may be worth repeating here that the sequence number is
>actually qualified by the senderId.
>234:  Yes, a duplicate ACK shall be sent.  The sender may be (probably is)
>sending a duplicate because it didn't receive the first ACK.  Do we need
>require that a timer be set on the ACK?
>235:  (note following this line)
>    (a)  See my comment above regarding "for a long time".
>    (b) This is precisely why "for a long time" is not a proper
>    specification (see comment above).
>273:  (3) Since this algorithm specifically uses the sequence number, case
>3 is by definition identical to case 2. Only the sender can know that the
>second message is not a duplicate even though it has the same sequence
>number. This cannot happen if we agree to my foregoing comments about "for
>a long time".
>2.6  Reliable Messaging Acknowledgment
>2.6.1 General
>246:  At this time, the messaging service cannot handle communications
>protocol function since it is, by definition, blind to what is going on at
>the transport level.  See my comments to section 2.6.3.
>248:  (3) Please change "timeout" to "messaging service timeout".
>248: (4) We have not provided a separate definition of transient errors.
>An error cannot be declared transient until it has been recovered.  A
>transient error manifests itself as a timeout for which the retry
>A repeated-sequence-number error is a messaging error, not a transient
>2.6.2  Reliable messaging formats
>270:  Please delete this line.  ServiceInterface and Action are present in
>all messages, whether reliable or not.
>2.6.3  Communication Protocol Errors
>274-292:  In the absence of a set of definitions which specify the
>information flow between the MS and the transport level, the MS is blind
>what goes on in the transport level.  Architecturally, the functions
>defined here are part of the transport level. In practice, an
>implementation may or may not have a boundary between the messaging
>and transport level but that is an implementer's choice.  Please remove
>this section.  See my comments to section 3 below.
>2.6.5  Timeout
>302:  Please replace "final" by "previous".
>306-307:  This is going on in the sender.  The sender does not return an
>ACK or error message.
>2.6.6  Transient Errors
>314ff:  See my comment on transient errors above.
>2.6.8  Maximum Number of Retries...
>343:  Please supply a definition of "retry interval".  It is the minumum
>required time between successive retries.  Please remove the keywords
>RetryInterval and Retries.  The TP team has not yet started defining tag
>names.  There are two other such pairs also to be named (transport and
>business level).  Please state that the retry interval and number of
>retries discussed here are specifically for the reliable messaging
>348-350:  Please delete this statement or make it non-normative.  The
>recovery action following such an error could be quite different, even
>perhaps involving a reboot.
>3. Relationship with Transport Level
>353ff:  This section appears to be about the MS in general, not about RM.
>As such, it does not belong in this document.  This can be considered the
>beginning of the work we need to do on tying the MS and the transport
>together.  I suggest putting this section and section 2.6.3 into a
>draft proposal and continuing to flesh it out on a time scale appropriate
>to the deliverables schedule.
>5. TPA Considerations
>392ff:  It should be made clear that the actual tag names are TBD by the
>7. Definitions
>Per an editor's note earlier in the document, the semantics terms need
>reconsideration.  Until this point, I understood "atMostOnce" to be what
>the RM service provides. I think I agree that as currently defined the RM
>service provides ExactlyOnce.  In this section, "atMostOnce" seems to mean
>that the RM service provides duplicate detection but not retries.  That
>be so but this spec does not provide that option.  "BestEffort" is out of
>scope for the MS because it specifies what the parties (i.e. application
>level) do.  Please delete "BestEffort" and the last 2 bullets (party
>definitions) of "AtMostOnce".  From the MS viewpoint, the two are the
>In addition, we need a choice that specifies "RM service not used".  For
>this option, there are neither duplicate detection nor retries.
>Martin W. Sachs
>IBM T. J. Watson Research Center
>P. O. B. 704
>Yorktown Hts, NY 10598
>914-784-7287;  IBM tie line 863-7287
>Notes address:  Martin W Sachs/Watson/IBM
>Internet address:  mwsachs @ us.ibm.com
>Jim Hughes <jfh@fs.fujitsu.com> on 09/23/2000 06:59:43 PM
>To:   ebxml-transport@lists.ebxml.org
>Subject:  Reliable Messaging Spec v0-078
>Attached are Word and PDF copies of the latest version of the Reliable
>Messaging Spec, for discussion on Wednesday in the F2F. Shimamura-san has
>added much more detail on reliability issues, and of course the earlier
>of Message Groups is now deleted for simplicity. Since there were many
>changes, I deliberately did not mark changes in this document, but you can
>easily see them by using Word's compare utility against the previous
>[Ralph, could you have some copies of the document available on Tuesday,
>for those that might not have access to a printer before travelling to

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