Was the PWG Bake-Off a Success or Failure?

Was the PWG Bake-Off a Success or Failure?

Was the PWG Bake-Off a Success or Failure?

JK Martin jkm at underscore.com
Tue Aug 6 12:24:00 EDT 1996


Binnur,


First off, I want to publicly state that calling the Portland PWG bake-off
a "failure" was probably not the right choice of words.  Perhaps something
like "not as successful as it should have been" would be more applicable.


Lee Farell (Canon) did a *much* better job of stating the situation:


> Whether or not the Bake-off was deemed a success or failure is much less
> interesting (at least to me) than whether or not the several vendor
> implementations are truly interoperable.  That's the big question that
> I'd like to get a consistent (or at least authoritative) answer on.  At
> one point, the bake-off rehearsal was intended to be a preparation for
> demoing at Interop.  Based on the results of the last meeting, can
> anyone say that the PWG is now able to demonstrate successful
> *interoperability*?  (Whether it's done at Interop or some other venue.)
>  Isn't that the priority focus?


Thank you, Lee, for pointing out the true intent of the bake-off.




Binnur, I am a bit puzzled by this statement:


> I have a different view of the bake-off that took place in Portland   
> during the July PWG meeting. I had few objectives for the bake-off:
> 
> 1.  dry-run for the possible Interop '96 bake-off.
> 2.  interoperability testing of the Printer MIB implementations that   
> shows up.
> 
> [...]
> 
> Unlike Jay, I feel we have achieved the #2 objective during the   
> bake-off.. This is more a question of, is the glass half full or half   
> empty.. This was the first time all the vendors got together and checked   
> their interoperability implementations.. It is great to see the reports   
> coming back, and also to know that we could most likely fix these   
> problems for the future just by clarifying few areas in the MIB (ok..   
> they are the most important areas, but still.. It is easy to do, now that   
> we know what is wrong..) However, doing a more formal interoperability   
> testing in the future would be more beneficial, as well..


This sentence is most puzzling to me:


    "It is great to see the reports coming back, and also to know
     that we could most likely fix these problems for the future by
     clarifying [a] few areas in the MIB..."


I realize now that I was out of the room for the 10 minutes or so when
the Genoa folks presented their limited findings.  Did the vendors who
had problems in their MIB implementations conduct a serious discussion
of the problems identified?  (It's hard for me to imagine that any such
discussion could have been conducted in the 10 minutes I was out of the
room.)


If no such discussion was conducted, then when will such a discussion
commence?


Please, please understand that my company is trying to develop generic
printer management applications utilizing the Printer MIB.  We need
resolution on these issues immediately (if not sooner).  In addressing
the problems in the MIB implementations, you said:


    "It is easy to do, now that we know what is wrong.."


I certainly would like to share in your optimism, but frankly, the
complete lack of discussion of the results of the bake-off (until I
posted my review) has Underscore very concerned about the resolution
of these problems.




> Overall, was the bake-off a success?? In my mind, anything that I learn   
> from is a success, even if I fail at it!! What do you think, is the glass   
> half-full, or half-empty?? Important thing for us is to learn from it,   
> and document it, so we don't make the same mistake twice..


I guess I should learn to wax philosophically about such situations.  ;-)
Unfortunately, my paycheck is a direct result of shipping bug-free,
accurate, working software.  Just saying "it was a success" and then
doing nothing about the problems (in a public forum) doesn't bode well
for us.  Perhaps we're too concerned with the bottom line?


Last--but certainly not least--we were most disappointed at the fact
that the HP LaserJet 5SI was not tested at all at the bake-off.  Again,
I'd certainly like to share in your optimistic view of:


    "...anthing that I learn from is a success, even if I fail at it!"


How did you know whether your (HP) product failed or not when it wasn't
even tested?  Being the clear market leader, it was disappointing to more
than just Underscore to see that no other vendor's product could be compared
in an apples-and-apples manner next to the market leader's product.


And yes, we DEFINITELY need another bake-off!


	...jay


PS:  Is the glass half-empty or half-full?  I have found that it really
     depends on what kind of liquid is in the glass.  If it's 12 year old
     single malt scotch, then I tend to say it's half-empty...and then
     start looking for a way to make it FULL again...  ;-)



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