Mark Crispin (MRC%PANDA@SUMEX-AIM.Stanford.EDU)
Wed 11 Mar 87 12:20:48-PST
If OSI is to DoD the way a Lincoln Town Car is to an MGB,
I guess we'll be running DoD protocols for a long long time to
As a network programmer, I am delighted at the prospect of
full employment for everybody in my field for a very long time,
at US government expense. As a taxpayer, I'm outraged, and am
starting to make comparisions in my mind with the Sgt. York and
I am wondering if what we are seeing is OSI having become
so large and unmanagable that implementability has become a
forgotten goal. I read the FTAM specification and still am not
completely sure what FTAM is all about. "Eschew obfuscation"
seems to have been forgotten.
More to the point; I don't think the US government should
be in the business of trying to establish OSI as a standard
protocol. The current regime is big on "market" based decisions.
If the US government sees itself as a USER of an international
standard protocol but is otherwise neutral on what that protocol
should be, then the current de facto international standard is
TCP/IP. If OSI is so wonderful, then all the other users of
network protocols -- industry, research, our foreign allies,
the socialist countries(!!) -- will migrate to OSI without US
government pressure being brought to bear.
If OSI fails to gain such widespread acceptance, then
perhaps it was a bad idea to begin with. Nobody is seriously
suggesting that TCP/IP should be retained indefinitely; what
we ARE saying is that there should not be *any* talk of
migration until there is clearly something better available.
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