Re: DoD Representation at ISO

Marshall Rose (mrose@nrtc-gremlin)
Wed, 09 Jul 86 18:45:46 -0700

Appologies in advance for this message which may be interpreted as a flame:

    Well, to be completely honest, when I first saw the x.400 stuff
    three years ago, my knee-jerk reaction was "what is this trash,
    haven't these guys heard of the ARPAnet?" Fortunately, for all
    involved including myself, I have calmed down quite a bit.

    IFIP 6.5 may be open to any and all interested parties, but not too
    many people in the ARPA Internet knew what was going on. If there
    really were three or four of the ARPA mail experts doing X.400
    stuff, in hindsight, they should have gone back to school, since
    X.400 missed quite a bit of the ARPA mail philosophy. (Appologies
    in advance to the four people I've just maligned.) For example, the
    lack of extensibility in the P2 heading part is AMAZING. How could
    that get left out? I would feel better about the incompatibilities
    between 822/821 and P2/P1 if the latter were at least a proper
    superset of the former. But when a bunch of people sat down to spec
    an ARPA/MHS gateway (chaired by an IFIP WG6.5 subcommittee chair, no
    less), it became painfully obvious that some things were just plain
    orthogonal, and anyone with ARPAnet experience must have been gone
    when the drafting/voting took place.

    I could start ranting and raving about how the first X.400
    implementations I've seen are repeating all the same mistakes we
    made in the ARPAnet, but you get my bias. For example, because of
    it's typed-data nature, X.400 makes it harder to mistake a user
    interface for a user agent, but people are still trying to do this.
    The whole addressing problem is another nightmare, which I hope
    someone is going to resolve real soon. Otherwise, we are going to
    start seeing the X.400 equivalent of %'s in MHS addresses. Except
    now we can put source routing in names instead of addresses!

    Now I suppose that all of this is the usual coming up on the power
    curve, and that eventually we'll start seeing some forward progress
    instead of sideways progress. I hope.

Again, sorry for the flames,


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