PMP Mail Archive: PMP> Localization

PMP Mail Archive: PMP> Localization

PMP> Localization

Chris Wellens (
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 14:26:16 -0700 (PDT)

Lloyd and I have reached a decision on incorporating the
Localization Proposal into the Printer MIB. While we feel that
there is sound justification that localization could be
improved in the Printer MIB, there are also sound reasons
as to why localization is bigger than just the Printer
MIB. With all factors weighted, we have decided that the
best course of action is to "back out" these changes.

In the process of researching this issue, we discovered that
both of our Area Directors, Keith and Harald, have considerable
technical experience in this issue (owing to their work on MIME
and various email protocols). We also received comments from
our IETF SNMP experts.

An excellent discussion of how to approach localization in IETF
protocols is contained in both RFC 2130 and RFC 2004. While
these documents discuss specific protocols and how localization
should be applied to them, there is no discussion for the SNMP

In addition to the agent needing a mechanism to define the
local language in use, some of the IETF SNMP experts have raised
other issues. For example, the solution should really
incorporate a mechanism where the management station can choose
the preferred language and be given a reasonable answer.

Rather than use a special implementation in the Printer MIB,
they feel a generalized solution is best, so that all the
SNMP MIBs could use it in a consistent way. (In the same way
that all MIBs now use MIB-II.) They point out the difficulties
for the network manager who is managing multiple SNMP devices,
with multiple MIBs in a multi-national network, who would have
to deal with different implementations of localization.

There is new work going on with this using UTF-8. This has been
incorporated in a relatively new Internet-Draft, the Systems
Application MIB. This can be found at:

We (the Printer MIB Working Group) should look forward to seeing
the results of these implementation experiences, and the ensuing
definition of how to best implement localization in SNMP MIBs.

So, on reflecting on these newly raised operational and
technical concerns, we will not incorporate localization.
However, all implementors should be warned that a localization
solution for SNMP MIBs is coming in the near future.

--==--==--==- Chris Wellens
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