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

Nick Mathewson nickm at alum.mit.edu
Mon Jan 6 19:07:06 UTC 2014

On Tue, Dec 24, 2013 at 4:58 AM, Karsten Loesing <karsten at torproject.org> wrote:
> 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.

So, I think my reasoning here was that we should not allow any single
authority to be a dictator for a flag, and we shouldn't let a single
authority add a huge number of flags on their own.

We could split it into a new proposal, I guess.  Want to write that?


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