Re: Idle chatter about reference models

Fri, 20 Nov 87 00:32


I have a different view about the ISO model. Its apparent rigid
specification of functionality is only on issues that were seen
to be needed to have open systems - any vendor host to any vendor
host via any network provider. That said there is in fact enough
protocol choice in the layers that communities of interest are
selecting 'protocol stacks' to limit the number of protocols
required in a single host.

When networks were seen by the standards makers as being just the
public utility of CCITT there was no need to make ISO standards for
how to build or manage the network. CCITT would do that. It is now
accepted that other network providers will exist in great number (well
at least in the UK and US). Hence public standards must be stated for
the management of this internet. Note: the assumption is still that
a single vendor will provide the subnet and hence we do not require
public standards for that internal issue.

I agree its probably the case that my view is not the common one
stated by ISO experts. But look at the selling problem they had. If
you and I are to have choice in our vendors and still communicate
then standards are required. The scale on which this has/had to be
done is very large relative to run-of-the-mill standards. (By-the-by
I happen to think the OSI work has been done in double quick time;
checkout the timescale for standards on slings and hooks.) Just as
in politics, large market, complex issues, limited time = keep the
message simple.

Now there are two sorts of OSI experts - those who really are and
often have dirty hands and scars from past experience, and those
who have read the 'books' from their armchair. The first may cut
corners to put the message across in a few minutes but know its
more complex. The second only know what is in the 'books'.

My experience of standards committees UK BSI and ISO is that most
members working on OSI are the first. And just so that there is no
mis-understanding between us I do see you as being dead centre (center
- I'm bilingual) in the first. (That goes for Mike Padlipsky as well
- who if on form is composing a refutation of all I've said.)

(To all you other readers - this makes a change to reading how the
Internet is being RIPped apart.)

Does the US State Dept read this list? Will my A-2 VISA be revoked?


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