PMP Mail Archive: Re: PMP> Localization

PMP Mail Archive: Re: PMP> Localization

Re: PMP> Localization

JK Martin (jkm@underscore.com)
Thu, 3 Jul 1997 23:35:03 -0400 (EDT)

Ira,

> While you can certainly back out the textual conventions I
> suggested (for clarity ONLY) from the new Printer MIB draft,
> you CAN'T back out localization (selectable dynamically by
> remote management stations) from the Printer MIB without
> BREAKING every existing implementation.

I don't think Chris/Lloyd are saying that *all* localization
objects should be removed. (At least I "hope* they're not!)

Instead, I read Chris' message as saying that only your
proposed additions should be backed out.

> If we return to the 'bad old days' of all the other
> strings in US-ASCII (not even ISO 8859-1 like HTTP),
> without any clue as to the language or country, I
> am reasonably confident that FujiXerox will abandon
> implementation of the Printer MIB in their new network
> products - a proprietary solution coordinated with
> US Xerox and Rank Xerox (in Europe) is much easier
> to justify.

Such a decision would be unfortunate, to be sure.
However, what conclusion do you come to when no one
else in the PWG stood up and backed your proposal
a couple of months ago? (Please read this question
as a sincere query, and not some kind of poke at you,
Ira. You know very well how much I personally value
your contributions in this technical area.)

> A great deal of misinformation has trickled out in notes
> from PWG members in the last few weeks. No one has
> ever addressed my issue of a single code base for
> a common client for FujiXerox across the entire
> Asia/Pacific marketplace.
>

I thought your proposal appeared well constructed...but
then again, I'm not an experienced fan of I18N/L10N. That
is, I took your proposal at face value (and nothing more).

When several of the PMP participants discussed their positions
on your proposal last week in Nashua, the strong consensus was
that it was inadaquate or otherwise inappropriate in one or more
ways. (And please note I was *not* part of that evalution, as
I didn't believe I could add to the process in any substantive way.)

Regardless of their reasons, that group believed the proposal
was insufficient...at least at this point in time, where the
draft of the new MIB is in the very latter part of the 11th hour
of progressing thru the IETF standards process.

Moreover, it is quite important to realize that most of the
members of that group have been working on real implementations
that will be (if not already are) shipping in the marketplace.
That is, their evaluation was not simply an "academic" position,
but rather one that was firmly based in the realities of product
delivery schedules within their respective companies.

You know, Ira, you've asked me several times (publicly and privately)
whether I am more interested in a "half-baked" solution NOW than in
a "real" solution "in the near future". (Quoted clauses are my
words, based on your messages.)

Fact is, given my company's focus--management applications for
open systems-based network printers--you must realize that ANY
solution is better than NO solution. Please understand that my
company has suffered considerably waiting for enough printer
companies to implement the Printer MIB so that our products are
viable in the marketplace. It's a simple matter of critical mass.

Some folks (most engineers... ;-) seem to think that the "perfect"
solution is the ONLY solution. My company--and I'll bet many
others as well--believe that a partial solution is just fine, so
long as efforts are continued towards the "perfect" solution.

> Why not take the good example in the original Printer
> MIB and roll it into a future update of the Host
> Resources MIB (RFC 1514) which bravely bucked the
> then ubiquitous trend of 'NVT ASCII' with (implicitly)
> English content and defined the textual convention
> 'InternationalDisplayString' (without specifying
> the locale discovery mechanism).

Having the PWG "touch" the HR MIB is a very difficult task,
one that has been discussed repeatedly on various PWG lists
over the last two years. I tend to agree with Chris, that
the "real" solution lays in a more generic and comprehensive
approach that transcends the Printer MIB; and, such an effort
is best spearheaded by true experts in the area.

> I'm disappointed in this decision, but not surprised,
> given all the recent 'hot air' on the topic.

Please don't give up on the PWG, Ira. Your input remains
quite valuable, as always.

It's high time for the Printer MIB II. We wasted substantial
time (in my opinion) "improving" the first version, when in fact
we should have just admitted its deficiencies and submitted
a newer, more accurate and complete version.

With the new MIB going to "Draft" status, perhaps now is
the time to start lining up the basic foundation for the
Printer MIB II effort.

And I can't think of any better starting point than your recent
proposals for internationalization and localization.

...jay

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