RIPE Database Working Group Minutes RIPE 86

Thursday, 25 May 2023 14:00-15:30 (UTC+2)
WG Co-Chairs: Denis Walker, William Sylvester
Scribe: Mahesh Aggarwal
Status: Draft

A) Introduction

William Sylvester, Co-Chair of the RIPE Database Working Group, opened the meeting by welcoming the attendees. He provided an overview of the agenda and called for volunteers to join the chairs. He also encouraged participants to subscribe to the mailing list and bring any questions or issues to the attention of the group.

B) Operational Update

The presentation can be found at:

Edward Shryane, RIPE NCC, delivered an operational update on the RIPE Database. He discussed the recent changes in the three new Whois releases, particularly highlighting the implementation of NRTMv4 in whois-1.106. Ed shared statistics related to abuse-c validation and the RPKI NONAUTH cleanup. He also provided updates on open-sourcing the web application, documentation migration, RDAP, and Fulltextsearch API improvements. Additionally, he discussed the analysis of NWI-4, "Role of status: field in multivalued status context."

Cynthia Revström, Itnord Security Solutions AB, raised a question regarding NWI 4, specifically about using a tool with a primary key for Inetnum and status. She recalled that this was talked about in the past and expressed her preference for this idea, seeking clarification if anything had changed.

Ed confirmed Cynthia's recollection and explained that there were two possible solutions. He presented a proposal around a new status but mentioned the challenge of maintaining the object, which may not be acceptable. He offered to create an impact analysis for an alternative solution based on community preference.

Denis Walker thanked Cynthia for bringing up the issue of comments, particularly related to early registration transfer (ERX). He explained the history of legacy space in different databases and the need to merge data into these RIPE objects. He raised the question of whether the community should take action to address the outdated data.

Ed acknowledged Denis's concerns and proposed creating a proposal to clean up the data if there was no longer a purpose for it in the database.

Denis emphasised the presence of objects due to the existence of legacy resources but expressed uncertainty about the ownership and accuracy of the data.

Ed agreed to include this question in the proposed cleanup plan when presented to the working group.

Magnus Sandberg, se.netnod, shared his preference for RDAP over Whois and raised concerns about inconsistencies between the protocol and the RIPE Database. He referred to a read me document on the RDAP GitHub repository, seeking clarification on the obstacles faced in implementation.

Ed explained their collaboration with the IETF and other RIRs to standardise the protocol. He mentioned the challenges related to inconsistencies and collisions within the data model. The RIPE Database team was actively working on reducing the list of issues but anticipated some difficulties in eliminating them completely.

Magnus requested further information regarding the nature of the obstacles, such as whether they were data model problems, time constraints, or decisions, to enhance understanding. Ed said that he will look into it and provide more details at later stage.

Peter Hessler, Globalways GmbH, requested that any changes be communicated to the meeting and the community in advance. He acknowledged that this was likely already part of the plan but emphasised the importance of transparency, particularly regarding the cleanup process.

Ed noted Peter's comment, acknowledging the need to keep the community and the Database Working Group informed about the cleanup efforts.

C) Managing the RIPE Database

The presentations can be found at:

Denis Walker, Co-Chair of the RIPE Database Working Group, presented on managing the RIPE Database. He highlighted the need for community involvement and proposed categorising changes into registry and policy changes, involving the community, and technical/operational changes, overseen by the RIPE NCC but with community input on the mailing list.

Cynthia Revström expressed support for the proposal, highlighting the lack of active participation on the mailing list. She suggested that the legal team should provide input on the proposal.

Denis said that if a policy proposal were to be implemented, it would go through the proper process, including legal review. He mentioned that he did not specifically discussed the idea of a RIPE Database policy with the legal team but had hinted at it.

Massimo Candela, NTT, agreed with the proposal for additional flexibility but suggested simplifying the process by allowing voting instead of lengthy discussions. Denis acknowledged the issue of a narrow group dominating discussions and proposed giving the RIPE NCC authority to propose solutions due to their expertise. Massimo agreed, especially for technical matters, but emphasised the importance of the RIPE Database team's ability to bring suggestions to the community.

Rüdiger Volk, representing himself, pointed out that the process lacked organisation and suggested providing summaries at critical milestones to facilitate community involvement and consensus. Denis Walker explained that discussions often lack participation, making it difficult to summarise. Rüdiger emphasised the importance of obtaining consensus and suggested that taking silence as consent is not sufficient for improvement.

Peter Hessler expressed frustration with the lack of progress in the Numbered Work Item (NWI) process and the absence of a declaration of consensus and proposed going back to the PDP process. He also said that he thought that the RIPE Database team suggestions would be valuable.

Denis clarified that the lack of consensus is due to comments received over an extended period and questions the feasibility of considering those comments for consensus.

D) RIPE Database Use Cases

The presentation can be found at:

Maria Stafyla, RIPE NCC, addressed the importance of creating awareness about RIPE Database information and avoiding confusion and misinterpretation. She categorised use cases and explained the purposes of various attributes related to country, address, org-type, and status.

Cynthia Revström mentioned that the cluster was a good idea.

Massimo Candela asked if it would make sense to make the country for Inetnum optional as it remained unspecified. Maria replied that this was for the working group to decide.

Rüdiger Volk agreed with Massimo and asked whether the working group should launch a new NWI.

Peter Hessler asked if it would make sense to have different labelling for the attributes maintained by the RIPE NCC vs the attributes maintained by the community. He proposed to have a different naming scheme to simplify things for users who were not familiar with the RIPE Database. Maria replied that they would think about it.

Denis mentioned that if a glossary was to be written, it would be a good idea to add a definition of what an LIR is. Maria said that she would take this feedback internally.

Z) Any Other Business (AOB)

There was no other business.