Still More Re GOSIP

13 Mar 1987 07:20:45 PST

[This might be a redundant resend, but the copy I thought was going to
the List came back with

Message failed for the following:
tcp-ip@SRI-NIC.ARPA: Forwarding error: Cannot find indirect file - No such device

so I figured I'd better try again (maybe it's some kind of cosmic
compensation for all the ones I thought I'd sent once that have
shown up twice). NOTE, by the way, that I've expanded the contents,
so even if you think you've seen it before, you haven't really.]

[Mainly for Mike C.]

   Glad to hear from you finally. Guess I can save the Government
the postage on hardcopy after all.
   A couple of quick rejoinders: The reason why testing and
performance stuff is not relevant to the ARPANET Suite but is
relevant to GOSIP (and eventually to OSI--which, it must be realized,
must be distinguished from GOSIP) is contained in the final
sentence of 1.1, Background (of the GOSIP Draft): "By
implementing open systems, the government expects to realize
significant savings through reducing duplicate circuits and
wiring, training, custom software, work stations, and custom hardware
interfaces." Without testing and performance criteria, GOSIP
(as it stands) would have to lead to INCREASED costs in "custom
software"--to pay for the interoperability-bug fixes and the
code tightening, that is. (On a somewhat different, but actually
more threatening, tack, another way in which the promise of cost
savings from "off-the-shelf"/"standard" software is betrayed lies
in the fact that those [DoD] systems which will be using "Blacker"
will have to have their X.25 implementations gutted and rehabbed,
but let's save the details on that for a venue other than the
TCP-IP "bulletin board"/mailing list.) Note, however, that when the
ARPANET Suite was being adopted, nobody claimed the advantages
of vendor support for it. GOSIP is claiming such advantages
and demonstrably won't achieve them, both because of the need
for further work on the current stuff and because of the need for
further expenditure on the new stuff. A moving target is a moving target.
(There's an irony in the fact that now that the ARPANET Suite
is enjoying most of the advantages of vendor support after all,
we're being asked to chuck it; but let it [the irony, not the
Suite] pass.)
   Re automotive analogies: I'd be inclined to go with your
recasting provided you make it a picture of an artist's
conception of a "car of the future" model Lincoln vs. an actual MBG.
I was trying to be polite by saying GOSIP was a stripped Renault,
but if you insist on focusing on what OSI is eventually intended
to be, we're in the realm of promises vs. realities.
   cheers, map
P.S. Bravo on getting DARPA not to be considered a Government
agency. Here's hoping you can do the same for DoD. (I.e., get
it exempted from forced transition; after all, the ARPANET Suite
is paid for and could be run in parallel with the OSI Suite when
the OSI Suite is really here and really needed to interoperate
with, e.g., NATO.)
P.P.S. New metaphor: everybody's being told to run as hard as
they can to get on this merry-go-round, and when they do they
discover the brass ring dispenser's empty. (For those who
don't remember such things, if you grabbed the brass ring you'd
get a free ride.)

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