Re: GOSIP


STJOHNS@SRI-NIC.ARPA
10 Mar 1987 06:00-PST


The following is sent on behalf of Mike Corrigan:
_____________________________________________________________

          A few comments:

          1. GOSIP is the Government OSI Protocol Specification.
          It was prepared by a working group of the Government OSI
          Users Group, chaired by NBS, which was formed in reaction
          to what was a pending Office of Management and Budget
          announcement mandating use of OSI, without benefit of a
          specification. I don't know the exact status of the OMB
          announcemnet, but I believe it is still pending.

          2. GOSIP is supposed to have been made available for
          FTPing from the NIC, but I'm not sure it is really there.
          I will find out and let you know.

          3. A specification such as GOSIP consists of two key
          parts: what it is you hope to buy and when you have to buy
          it, or, the body of the spec and the applicability
          statement. If these don't match as well as they might,
          you get some very peculiar discussions. I think Mike P's
          discussion makes it clear that the GOSIP spec pulls no
          punches with respect to what ypu can currently acquire in
          OSI, and if the applicability statement were not part of
          the document, it would meet truth in labelling, full
          disclosure and informed consent concerns a lot better than
          we have ever managed in the ARPA/DOD protocol standards
          arena (for example, did anyone ask themselves about
          guidance or capabilities in the areas of performance,
          testing, and user interfaces for TCP/IP/SMTP/FTP/TELNET
          when reading Mike P's comments?). If we had waited for
          adequacy in these areas in DOD, we would still be waiting.

          4. The group responsible for resolving the mismatch
          between the applicability statement and the spec body in
          DOD is the protocol standards steering group (actually, it
          is more complicated than that, but the PSSG invited all
          the complications to participate with them). At its
          recent meeting, the issues Mike P. raised were brought to
          the table by his sponsor, as well as a number of others,
          and I believe they will be adequately addressed in the DOD
          comments on the spec, and for the most part will be
          incorporated in the final spec. I believe that the result
          will be to place the applicability statement somewhere
          between the Mike P. reading and the Marshall Rose reading.
          After the GOSIP is published, there will still need to be
          guidance prepared by the different agencies for its use in
          each agency, since different agencies have different plans
          and concerns.

          5. At this point, I believe additional comments would be
          most useful if they adopted the Marshall Rose
          interpretation, that is, "If you want to do interoperable
          OSI, this is how to do it." An additional issue is how
          OSI should be used by the protocol research community.
          For really far out research, clearly OSI (or current
          ARPA/DOD) are minimally relevant. But there is a lot of

          research in the nearer term which could result in changes
          to currently planned and operational protocols. Assuming
          that one believes that the operational protocols for lots
          of folks are going to be OSI, then the question is how
          might improvements best be researched. One approach would
          be to adopt OSI as the research base. This has a lot of
          apparent advantages: direct applicability and shared
          terminology for two. A possible difficulty is that the
          OSI protocols might be a bit "rich" to use when
          investigating particular points, and a "leaner" protocol
          suite might be easier to use as the research suite. This
          approach, however, would have the disadvantage of needing
          a translation step. (Incidentally, I thought Mike P's
          protocol to car analogy was less than apt. I would go
          with OSI is to DOD as Lincoln Town Car is to MGB.)

          Mike C.



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