This bug was fixed in the package nplan - 0.32~17.10.3

---------------
nplan (0.32~17.10.3) artful; urgency=medium

  * Don't silently break Bridge Priority by adding port-priority.

nplan (0.32~17.10.2) artful; urgency=medium

  * Fix syntax for IPv6 addresses in doc. (LP: #1735317)
  * doc: routes are not top-level but per-interface. (LP: #1726695)
  * Implement bridge port-priority parameter. (LP: #1735821)
  * Implement "optional: true" to correctly write systemd network definitions
    with "RequiredForOnline=false", such that these networks do not block boot.
    (LP: #1664844)
  * Various documentation fixes. (LP: #1751814)

 -- Mathieu Trudel-Lapierre <cypher...@ubuntu.com>  Fri, 02 Mar 2018
16:50:47 -0500

** Changed in: nplan (Ubuntu Artful)
       Status: Fix Committed => Fix Released

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https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1664844

Title:
  No distinction between link-up and link-down interfaces

Status in MAAS:
  Triaged
Status in netplan:
  In Progress
Status in nplan package in Ubuntu:
  Confirmed
Status in nplan source package in Xenial:
  Fix Committed
Status in nplan source package in Zesty:
  Fix Released
Status in nplan source package in Artful:
  Fix Released

Bug description:
  [Impact]
  Users need to write valid configuration, especially for new features that are 
approved by not yet implemented, such as marking a link "optional".

  [Test case]
  Write a netplan configuration:

  network:
    version: 2
    renderer: networkd
    ethernets:
      eth0:
        optional: yes
        dhcp4: yes

  And run 'netplan apply'. Netplan should write configuration for the
  link and not error out with a syntax error.

  [Regression potential]
  This has a minimal potential for regression: the new keyword was added to be 
supported already by consumers of netplan (users, cloud-init) so that they 
could start writing config with the new key and that configuration to be seen 
as valid by netplan before the backend is implemented. There is no functional 
change besides allowing for the value to exist in a netplan configuation.

  ---

  If I define an interface in netplan (even one which has no DHCP type
  and no addresses), it's not possible to determine if its adminStatus
  should be enabled (link up) or disabled (link down).

  I can completely exclude an interface from the netplan configuration,
  but I think that implies that not only its adminStatus is "disabled"
  by default, but also netplan will not be able to do anything "nice"
  for the interface, such as rename it to what the user specified in
  MAAS.

  If I include the interface but don't specify any addresses or DHCP, it
  isn't clear if it will be link up (my current assumption) or link
  down.

  There should be a way to allow an interface to be recognized by
  netplan (and even partially configured, waiting for the user to run
  something like 'ifup <interface>' on a manual but not auto-started
  interface in ifupdown), but marked administratively disabled.
  (adminStatus down)

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