WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

Harry Lewis harryl at us.ibm.com
Fri Sep 2 00:22:47 EDT 2005

Bill, I think ALL standards participants can stand a regular healthy 
reminder about the 80/20 rule... how we should keep focused on 
standardizing well the 20% of objects,  elements or attributes that will 
provide 80% of the key interoprable function. Your findings, although not 
specific, do act as such a reminder. 

I have been urging in past Plenary and Steering Committee meetings that 
one of the most beneficial services the PWG can provide is further Printer 
MIB interop testing. In the absence of a firm commitment to achieve this 
your recommendation to mandate (for WIMS) only essential elements that are 
known to be well supported is a good one.
Harry Lewis 
Chairman - IEEE-ISTO Printer Working Group
IBM Printing Systems 

wamwagner at comcast.net 
Sent by: owner-wims at pwg.org
09/01/2005 06:37 PM

"'wims at pwg.org'" <wims at pwg.org>

WIMS> Reflections on a (MIB) walk

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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