Monday, December 28, 2015

Quibbling in IPv6

Looking at the Language of IPv6

by Craig Miller

Trouble with Quibbles
Perhaps I should back up the train a bit, and talk about the IPv6 address and what the parts are called. An example IPv6 address is 2001:0DB8:ABCD:EF01:0001:002:0003:0004 * The address is made of of 8 groups of hexadecimal groups representing 16 bits, separated by colons.

Blowing Chunks

But what is each group of 4 hexidecimal letters called? Apparently it has taken the IETF 13 years to realize a name was needed. Back in 2011, in true IETF style, a draft RFC was created to foster discussion. It is interesting to look at the evolution of the draft RFC proposal (Naming IPv6 address parts). In the earlier drafts (e.g. draft-2), you can see the following suggestions:

  1. Chazwazza 
  2. Chunk 
  3. Column 
  4. Colonade, Colonnade 
  5. Doctet 
  6. Field 
  7. Hexadectet 
  8. Hit 
  9. Orone 
  10. Part 
  11. Provider number, customer number, network number 
  12. Quad nibble, qibble, quibble 
  13. Segment 
  14. Tuple 
  15. Word 

All had reasons for why they represented 16 bits of information, and would not be confusing with other networking terms.

And in light conversation...

As you progress to the 4th revision of the RFC (Naming IPv6 address parts) you will find that they paired the list down to two.
  1. Hextet
  2. Quibble
Hextet is the official name based on revision 4, with Quibble to allowed in informal conversation. However the RFC was never standardized (there is no RFC number assigned), so it appears to be still up for grabs.

May the chazwazza be with you!

* There is an official documentation prefix defined by RFC 3849, 2001:db8::/32
** ST TroubleWithTribbles" by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia

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