Re: BBS Code/Maseratis/Unwashed Masses
- To: dan%cs.wisc.edu%ucsd.edu@Sdsc.BITnet
- Subject: Re: BBS Code/Maseratis/Unwashed Masses
- From: Rudy.Nedved%RUDY.FAC.CS.CMU.EDU%ucsd.edu@Sdsc.BITnet
- Date: Sat, 07 Jan 89 16:09:27 EST
- Cc: tcp-group%ucsd.edu@Sdsc.BITnet
- In-reply-to: <8901071823.AA27065@pipe.cs.wisc.edu>
Experience has shown that three things are happening here:
1) People that have worked hard to set up something
that works do not like to change. Many system
managers refused to use RFC822 until they were
simply in the minority. It sounds like the sysops
are in the same category. "If it works, don't
2) If most of the software assumes a totally
text based message system then it will very very
hard to go to non-text based messages like X.400.
This is why text based RFC822 replaced text based
RFC733 for mail standards. But RFC822 got major
reforms accomplished without getting into the
religious issue of text versus non-text messages.
3) X.400 suite of protocols and the X.500 protocols are
the way to go but alas they are not completely specified.
You will only burn your friends and converts if you
make them use some version of X.400 and then make them
use a newer X.400 and so on every year or so.
In summary, this is just like going from RFC733 to RFC822 or from NCP to TCP
or from AX.25 to AX.25/IP. You can not wave a magic wand and convert people,
you have to persist, prove, persuade, convert and do excellent PR to get
people to use the new and "better" stuff. You will ALWAYS have a percentage of
people who simply do not convert. Look at BETA and VHS tape standards. [Note:
When TCP/IP finally existed in the ARPA Internet and was growing, one magazine
actually reported that DOD was stupid, TCP/IP was a passing fancy and that
CITT protocols were the way to go...no every vendor in order to survive in the
marketplace must have access to a TCP/IP package for his product and CITT is
still arguing over TP2, TP4 and the other TP procotocols...]
The idea of going to X.400 is too radical. Commerical hardware that would take
advantage of this system is not available. You simply do not buy scanners and
laser printers for your home PC at the moment unless you are making money
using them (or you are extremely rich). The same is true for audio recording
and playing system...is your PC connected to your stero system? The "market"
for multimedia electronic mail is not big enough yet to even be noticed.
Motivating people to add headers and make those headers RFC822 so you can
route mail, deal with basic electronic mail issues (who is cc'ed, who sent it,
who really sent it, who should the reply go to, what message is this, etc.)
and basic mail handling issues to improve delivery (return-path and received
lines) is the first problem. The advantage already is that the step of going
to RFC733 and then to RFC822 does not have to happen.
A simple plan of attack is to design a system that uses the RFC822 headers and
supplies the functionality of the current BBS system, has hacked up temporary
code to deal with systems that don't and go after the popular and frequently
used BBS systems.
When you get enough attention from that act, you convert more systems and pay
with blood, sweat, time and money for dealing with the chaos. When you break
having 90% of the traffic that you and the rest of the converts care about
converted then you remove the hacks and the compatibility code to clean things
up and improve things even more leaving the non-converts behind. They will
catch up quickly or never...
P.S. If you think you have a weak stomach for people being
upset then don't get into the game. I have spent many
hours answering many mail messages and talking on the
phone to get new and better protocols up on the
Internet and if you have a big ego...you will find it
gets in the way.