ISO Standards and the Internet


Steve Langdon (amdahl!sjl@SUN.COM)
Fri, 11 Jul 86 02:48:40 PDT


There has been a fair amount of recent discussion about the effect of ISO
and CCITT standards on the Internet. Some of it has been based on informed
opinion, some on a lack of knowledge, and some on prejudice. I continue to
believe that the Internet community has much to offer those working on OSI.
I also believe that the lack of information about the work on OSI is mostly
a problem with the mechanisms used to distribute information by the standards
bodies (however it is not an easy problem to solve).

I will, on an occasional basis, attempt to provide information to this group,
but the usual pressures of work prevent me from playing a very active role.
Even if more people involved in OSI standards work were able to provide
information it is still difficult to see how this would be a substitute
for a more predictable and formal way to get information. The following
paragraphs describe my current ideas about how we could work towards an
answer to this problem.

One of the most positive recent developments in OSI is the formation of the
Corporation for Open Systems (COS). This non-profit joint venture (funded
by industry) might be able to act as an information source about OSI protocols
in the same manner as the NIC has provided information about TCP/IP and
related protocols. I have some influence in COS as the Amdahl representative,
but more voices are needed to explain how important it is to have easy
access to current information about OSI.

If you really care about the effects of the conversion to OSI protocols, I
would strongly recommend that you try and influence COS to provide an ongoing
source of OSI information. Some of you could best do this by having your
organizations join COS, others could at least write and express interest in
having COS act as a source of information about OSI. Those that choose the
latter, should try and explain why it is important that COS should provide
a free service to non-members (remember that some of us work for organizations
that are spending a lot of money to support COS).

Stephen J. Langdon ...!{ihnp4,cbosgd,hplabs,sun}!amdahl!sjl

[ The article above is not an official statement from any organization
  in the known universe. ]



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