Subject: Re: corba or sockets?
From: Erik Naggum <>
Date: 01 Nov 2000 14:47:36 +0000
Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp
Message-ID: <>

* Wade Humeniuk <>
| ISORMOSI (first time I've seen this acronym!) for me still has a
| place. 

  I have used it to describe a protocol tha was very messy and that
  definition was the basis for a clean reimplementation, so I won't
  knock the model too hard, but it doesn't work for the Internet, and
  one must be acutely aware of when to break that model.  Sometimes
  you need a lift in that 7-story high-rise.

| I will usually try to design a protocol which follows a layered
| model, because I have to apply some technique to get where I am
| going.

  Protocol layering is as hard as doing class inheritance right.  The
  interesting thing is that you can start with the lowest layer and
  have a slot called "payload" that a subclass would interpret with
  sub-slots, or you could start with the highest layer and add slots
  in subclasses as you move down the stack.  As long as the needs of a
  class are dictated from the outside, this is pretty easy.  It gets
  real difficult to find the One True Layering when you move your own
  functionality around as you experience changing needs.

| This is one of the weird parts I find about life is that I seem to
| need flawed (religious? dogmatic?) views of the world to approach
| the truth.  I guess its called learning.  Is there a way out of that
| morass?

  Apart from dying?  I don't think so.  :)

| As for the triumph of TCP/IP over ISORMOSI.  I think it was things like:
| Unix
| FTP being simpler than FTAM
| SNMP being simpler than CMIP
| the Session and Presentation Layers in OSI
| TCP/IP was mostly American
| random blind chance
| and should I say "Simpler is Better"
| that killed ISORMOSI (may it rest in layers).
| BTW, isn't ISORMOSI still kicking in Europe?

  Nah, even the OSI Profiles (like GOSIP) have moved to TCP/IP, but
  there are still some large commercial X.400 software vendors and
  service providers.  Some believe that EDI needs X.400 to work.

  I used to study X.400.  I made a guess that I would spend 10 years
  writing a fully compliant mail system based on X.400.  Then I wrote
  a fully compliant SMTP-based mail system in three weeks, added MIME
  stuff experimentally (while I was still contributing to that work)
  and figured that if you had to spend more than a man-year on a mail
  system, you'd need to make it a highly successful mass product, and
  that was very unlikely to happen to anything as long as decent and
  simple mail systems were available essentially for free.  I don't
  think I was too far from how people with real money, resources, and
  vested interests were thinking.  Today, we have the Evil Behemoth
  doing about 10% of what X.400 offered, and they still don't comply
  with the necessary RFCs, so chances are they can't even _read_ the
  X.400 specification.

  The WWW idea hit the world with unprecedented force.  It's a crying
  shame that HTTP and HTML had such staggeringly idiotic designs, and
  still do.  If I were Tim Berners-Lee, I'd blame someone else for it,
  so I guess he couldn't find anyone who would accept that.  But I

  Does anyone remember where I parked Air Force One?
                                   -- George W. Bush