Date: Wed Apr 05 2006 - 18:10:20 EDT
(I'm sorry I missed the discussion this afternoon.) I would like to
agree and disagree at the same time. Agreed, without an economic
incentive, vendors are unlikely to undertake programs to improve their
implementations. They won't allocate resources specifically aimed at
that goal. On the other hand, I think that most vendors, as part of
normal maintenance, make minor improvements to come closer to compliance
with specifications over time. At least I have observed that in the
past. If there were tighter descriptions of the semantics of some items
in the MIB, in an implementer's guide or revised spec, I think that
vendors might sneak up on correct implementations over time.
If we kept our effort really small and focused on a handful of
properties in Printer MIB and Host Resources MIB -- choose the worst
offenders first -- we might be able to get people's attention. (I'd be
willing to work on a smallish effort.)
I agree absolutely. Without an economic incentive, the there is little
likelihood that many vendors will put in any effort to improve or even
publicize their public MIB implementations. There must be a perception
of customer demand for general manage-ability of a mixed fleet, products
of multiple vendors managed by a single application.
Several years ago I expected the trend to third party fleet maintainers
(e.g., Danka, Ikon, Pitney Bowles) to prompt such a demand; but these
companies have been silent. More recently I would have expected the
popularity of assay and hard-copy billing applications (many of which
could sure stand access to job information from printers) to create a
demand for consistent job mib implementation; but all I have seen are
special deals with individual companies to use proprietary features.
Unless compliance with standard MIB (indeed, any management)
implementations becomes readily identifiable and is demanded as a
checkoff item on purchase requests, I suspect that there will be little
motivation to include, update or improve implementations.
-------------- Original message --------------
From: "Stuart Rowley" <Stuart.Rowley@ktd-kyocera.com>
Much of the discussion hinged around getting printer vendors to
improve their implementations, to perform interoperability or
certification, and to provide readily accessible information on the
level of their implementations, etc. so that software applications can
more successfully manage devices from multiple vendors.
As I think Harry mentioned, the original intent of the printer
MIB effort was in large part to have third party vendors and the major
enterprise management apps, such as Tivoli, Unicenter, and OpenView,
develop robust printer management implementations. When this failed to
materialize, virtually all printer vendors developed their own software
to manage their devices and, to a lesser extent, competitors devices as
well. (or maybe the printer vendors shot themselves in the foot by
releasing these free printer management apps and killing the incentive
for other development).
I think many printer vendors may be resigned to the fact that
the majority of print device management will be done by their own
management apps and they dont have too much incentive to improve their
partial management of competitors devices.
Thus, these vendors may have difficulty seeing the benefit of
the effort involved to move forward with much of the work that was
proposed during the discussion. Perhaps a listing of the benefits to the
printer vendors would be necessary to spur interest. Until there is
market pressure to improve poor SNMP/MIB implementations or a clearly
defined tangible benefit, I think some printer vendors may not be
willing to allocate resources to these efforts.
Stuart Rowley, Network Product Mgr.
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Kyocera Technology Development Inc.
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