PMP Mail Archive: Re: PMP> Revised proposal on definition of OCTET STRING to allow superset of ASCII

PMP Mail Archive: Re: PMP> Revised proposal on definition of OCTET STRING to allow superset of ASCII

Re: PMP> Revised proposal on definition of OCTET STRING to allow superset of ASCII

Ira Mcdonald x10962 (imcdonal@eso.mc.xerox.com)
Tue, 22 Jul 1997 09:26:08 PDT

Hi Jay,

ALL of the Name objects in the IETF Host Resources MIB (RFC 1514)
are of type 'InternationalDisplayString'. It is standard practice
to use the character set appropriate to the current device locale
(ie, physical location in some country) in UNIX host implementations
of RFC 1514 for these names - it is NOT standard practice to
reduce these names to the ASCII character set (administrative names
of system devices and services have to be in the language and
code set of the end user to be useful).

If you want to make an argument, get your facts right

Cheers,
- Ira McDonald

---------------------------- Jay's note ------------------------------
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Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 08:52:32 PDT
From: JK Martin <jkm@underscore.com>
Message-Id: <199707221552.LAA29356@uscore.underscore.com>
To: hastings@cp10.es.xerox.com
Subject: Re: PMP> Revised proposal on definition of OCTET STRING to allow
superset of ASCII
Cc: pmp@pwg.org
X-Sun-Charset: US-ASCII
Sender: pmp-owner@pwg.org
Status: R

Tom,

> 2. One of the new Printer MIB v2 objects, 'prtGeneralPrinterName' has
> been given a SYNTAX of 'DisplayString', instead of OCTET STRING
> which forces NVT ASCII only (code positions 128 to 255 SHALL not be used)
> instead of 'OCTET STRING' which would give the same capabilities for other
> sets with US-ASCII as a subset as in 1 above.

Let me briefly explain the rationale for the prtGeneralPrinterName
just one more time...

I proposed the addition of this new object in response to the need
to corroborate an instance of the Printer MIB with a printer known
by an administrative name within a printing system.

For a "normal" network printer, this value is not particularly useful,
since there is only one instance of the Printer MIB managed by the
embedded agent.

However, there are several cases where an agent supports multiple
instances of the Printer MIB. Examples include:

- Direct-attached (serial/parallel) printers to a host/server
- Printers attached to a multi-port LAN interface box ("brick")
- Printers attached to a special-purpose multiplexor (eg, EFI)

We need to have a way to distinguish between the various instances
of the Printer MIB managed by a single SNMP agent. In reviewing the
environmental situation, it was found that the binding requirements
centered around the "name" assigned to the printer within the target
printing system environment.

To our knowledge, 99% of such names are constrained to plain ASCII
strings. Hence, the constraint for DisplayString as the object syntax.

The prtGeneralPrinterName is *NOT* meant to be some sort of user-
friendly moniker to be readily displayed by some mgmt application.
Instead, it was designed as a programmatical binding mechanism to
tie the Printer MIB instance into a larger management domain comprising
multiple printers.

Does this object need to be localized/internationalized? I really
don't think so.

Can this object be localized/internationalized? Sure, I guess.
But does it really NEED to be?

A constraints can be a Good Thing. Unbounded (and unjustified)
flexibility can be a Bad Thing.

I wish people would take these views into account more often.

...jay