WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

wamwagner at comcast.net wamwagner at comcast.net
Thu Sep 1 20:37:06 EDT 2005


I just had occasion to MIB walk through a few implementations of  a table or two in the printer MIB, in several standard products including some from the most predominant members of the industry. Remembering the discussion and consideration that went into the objects, it is an eye opener to see with what carelessness (or is it intentional sabotage) these things are implemented. Granted, looking at the  spec after all this time, there are some ambiguities. But it often looks like someone just thru in arbitrary values for some objects. "Mandatory" means nothing. Since most management applications use private mibs, manufacturers appear not to put any effort into validating the general MIB.Or else the objects are of so little use that no one cares if the values are valid.

Aside from being discouraging, I think there is a lesson here that we may apply to our on-going work. Keep things simple; don't expect that anyone cares if you label an element mandatory; if they have  a use for it,  it will be implemented. Let's not slavishly import things from the printer MIB or other sources, or even strive for completeness. The criteria for inclusion must be the clear need for the element as evidenced by existing use or indisputable future requirement.

As for having a Printer MIB 2 cook-off (a non-proprietary bake-off), getting  consistent implementations may be important to some people, but apparently not to manufacturers. I doubt anyone would come.

Bill Wagner
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