[tor-dev] Review of Proposal 177: Abstaining from votes on individual flags (was: Tor proposal status (December 2013))

Karsten Loesing karsten at torproject.org
Tue Dec 24 09:58:45 UTC 2013

On 12/17/13 10:31 PM, Nick Mathewson wrote:
> 177  Abstaining from votes on individual flags
>      Here's my proposal for letting authorities have opinions about some
>      (flag,router) combinations without voting on whether _every_ router
>      should have that flag.  It's simple, and I think it's basically
>      right.  With more discussion and review, somebody could/should
>      build it, I think. (11/2013)

This proposal looks useful, too.

There's just one thing that surprised me in the proposal:

> A flag is listed in the consensus if it is in the known-flags
> section of at least one voter, and in the known-flags or
> extra-flags section of at least three voters (or half the
> authorities, whichever set is smaller).

The previous requirement for a flag to be listed in the consensus was:

> Known-flags is the union of all flags known by any voter.

If I'm not mistaken, the new requirement that at least three voters need
to at least sometimes have an opinion on a flag is new, and it seems
unrelated to being able to abstain from votes on individual flags.  Even
if nobody uses extra-flags, a flag that is only contained in two
known-flags lines suddenly won't make it into the consensus when the new
consensus method is used.  I'm not saying this new requirement is bad,
but I didn't expect it to be introduced in this proposal.  Maybe there
should be a separate (tiny) proposal that requires at least three voters
to know a flag.  Or maybe the overview of this proposal and a later
ChangeLog entry and dir-spec.txt patch should state this new requirement
more explicitly.

Or maybe I just didn't read dir-spec.txt well enough to find that it
already contains this requirement...

All the best,

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