Andrew Bartlett abartlet at
Tue Jul 30 03:27:01 GMT 2002

"Michael B.Allen" wrote:
> 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.

Well, I think the lack of RPC stuff is more becouse MS doesn't want it
documented in anything they are associated with - and those involved are
still trying to keep MS in the process.

> > > 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.

Sorry, I don't quite see what you mean.  Samba certainly uses the agreed
dialect to determine many things - in particular the provision of NT1
only SessionSetup etc.  Sure, there should be new dialects - but until
MS starts matching on the *protocol strings* there isn't any point
'defining' a new dialect.  

An addition to the document explaining what packets particular
clients/server can/will exchange would be a useful improvement.

> > > 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.

It's the user/host authenticated bit that gets poeple.

> > > 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.

So?  But this is the document the CIFS community is working with - and
it really is the best we have - despite its' defficiencies.

As to 'why SNIA'?  Well, SNIA puts on the annual CIFS conference, and MS
is a member.  Given the need for MS participation in an forum that
seriously attempts to document the protocol, and the need for a vender
neutral body, I can certainly understand SNIA's role

> > 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.

Chis was chasing the UTF-16 issue becouse I flagged it with him.   Chris
does a very good job keeping on top of these 'little details'.

Andrew Bartlett

Andrew Bartlett                                 abartlet at
Manager, Authentication Subsystems, Samba Team  abartlet at
Student Network Administrator, Hawker College   abartlet at

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