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Re: X-* header fields

2004-01-22 20:51:03

> My own, primary concern about them is having an "experimental" header > become a defacto standard and then having to find a way to get folks to
> use a new, non-X header name for it.  I believe that hasn't been
> successful yet, or at least not much.

why does it work better in the case of Experimental vs Standard MIBs?
(or do you think that doesn't work well either?)

First, I don't know that it works better. I suspect it does not, and that once an experimental MIB is in use it is very difficult to get rid of it. Indeed, if
such transitions worked well, why isn't the accepted practice for MIBs
developed in the IETF to assign an experimental OID during development and switch to a standard one after IESG approval? It sure isn't done this way - what happpens in practice is that there is NO OID assigned in the document
until after it is approved.

I think that's a change since I was on IESG - I remember having the discussion about having to change OIDs from the experimental branch to the standard branch more than once. Maybe not having any OID assigned until standardization (presumably each vendor assigns its own for prototyping) is a newer strategy.

 The difference between a MIB registered in the experimental space
and a MIB registered in the standards space is simply the OID prefix.

That's assuming, of course, that the MIB didn't get changed somehow when moving to standards-track. If experimental MIBs were often good enough to standardize as-is, I wouldn't really see the point in changing prefixes. I don't really see why it matters which OID prefix is used for any particular MIB, whether it's standards track or not. But some people seemed to care.

I'm a lot more concerned about email message headers that are human-readable, because I suspect a lot more people guess semantics from looking at message header field names than guess semantics by looking at MIB OID prefixes.

Additionally, nobody runs around, management station in hand, and tries to
access random agents on the network.

You mean there aren't any management stations doing autodiscovery? It's been awhile since I looked at any SNMP work but it seems like such features were all the rage a few years back.

Finally, anyone who thinks SNMP isn't bothered by interop problems of various
sorts hasn't spent much time using it.

I would never claim that :) I was just wondering whether experience with SMTP moving from experimental to standards-track OID prefixes would give some additional clue about the likely effect of moving from X- to non-X- in email.

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