Michael B.Allen mballen at
Tue Jul 30 03:03:01 GMT 2002

On Tue, 30 Jul 2002 18:58:16 +1000
Andrew Bartlett <abartlet at> wrote:

> "Michael B.Allen" wrote:
> > 
> > Don't  you  think  it's  kind  of  funny  that  Leach  and Naik aren't even
> > mentioned in the acknowledgements? And they put a Copyright 2001, 2002 SNIA
> > in  there? This document is a big turd. There are major grammatical errors,
> > technical  inaccuracies,  and huge holes that aren't even mentioned (what's
> > the  number of seconds between 1601 and 1970 again?). How about this gem on
> > page 1:
> > 
> >     "Adoption  of  a  common  file sharing protocol having modern semantics
> >     such  as  shared  files,  byte-range  locking, coherent caching, change
> >     notification, replicated storage, etc. would provide important benifits
> >     to the Internet community."
> Unfortunetly the politics SNIA require its current status as a 'proposed
> standard', but anyway.
> > What  a load of crap! Who's going to run a CIFS server on the internet? DCE
> > on  top  of  Transactions  on  top  of SMB in front of empty 4 byte NetBIOS
> > headers?  No  thanks!  Don't  you  think  it would be worth mentioning that
> > SMB_COM_COPY  doesn't  even  work?  There's *nothing* about DCE/RPC in here
> > except  for  some incomprehensible banter about PDUs. 
> Much as we would like to have DCE/RPC documented, it's a lot of work.

So why confuse the Transactions section with some awkward bit about PDUs? I
can't  believe there isn't someone out there that could write a nice little
intro  about  DCE/RPC.  And the other bit about Transactions is from an old
leach  draft.  They  (leach) got the IETF version number mixed up. This was
discussed on MS CIFS list but I guess no one from the WG was listening. 

> > The only stuff that's
> > accurate  is  the  original  Leach/Naik  content.  
> My understanding is that even that isn't too flash.

Sure  it  has  it's  little inconsistencies. Unicode is hosed in info level
0x105's,  Unicode  is  seriously  screwed  between Win98 and NT (e.g. short
names  in  TRANS2_FIND_FIRST/NEXT),  and  so  on  but these are exactly the
things I hoped would be sorted out. The new content in the SNIA doc is just
not  reality.  Someone  was  seriously  in denial. The part about "Protocol
version negotiation"? How many servers do you think actually make decisions
based on what dialect is negotiated? Probably Windows and that's it because
the  code was there already. But there are enough incompatabilities between
servers that  new  dialects  are  warranted. Why isn't there as "NT LM 0.12
WIN98"?  There  needs to be some emperical analysis before a "standard" can
be drafted. 

> > The  few  corrections  I
> > submitted  have  not  been  fixed so why bother to contibute anything? This
> > document  is an excuse for the different shadowy clicks to get their little
> > two-bit  extensions in. And the funny thing is the extensions will never be
> > implemented  by Windows servers so they're nearly pointless. 
> Nearly, but not quite.  Such extenstions do exist, and they may as well
> be publicly documented - not everybody runs windows, and sometimes the
> extenstions provide some quite useful features.   Samba->Samba
> connections are quite common on small networks trying to avoid the
> perils of NFS for example.

I find it hard to believe NFS is that much worse.

> > I wish someone
> > would do a real analysis and write some practical documentation.
> A volenteer!  Great!  I'll see what help I can be, but you might want to

This is such a crappy argument. I file this one with the "if you don't like
it,  submit a patch" argument. If someone writes some code that does X, the
chances  of  someone else, possibly much more capable, of also writing code
to  do X decreases greatly. So now the SNIA comes up with a crappy document
(nice  formatting; too bad it's a MS Word doc) and another group that might
have  formed  a  real  working  group  that  would turn out to do some good
research,  generate dependency graphs, maintain a bug database, etc has now
gone off and done something else instead. 

> give Chris's site a look - his online book is a very worthwhile read:

I'm  very  familar  with this work. I'm excited to see Chris has moved past
NetBIOS and I try to help him and encourage him to document the quirks like
his interest in mappings of NT and DOS error/status codes. Just yesterday I
helped  clairify  UTF-16  vs.  UCS-2LE. Guess what the SNIA docs says about
character  encoding?  Putting  a  UTF-16 CIFS server on the Internet sounds
like a great idea.


A  program should be written to model the concepts of the task it
performs rather than the physical world or a process because this
maximizes  the  potential  for it to be applied to tasks that are
conceptually  similar and more importantly to tasks that have not
yet been conceived. 

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