Re: "A Catalog of Available X.500 Implementations" now in a WAIS server (Russ Wright) Mon, 02 December 1991 16:32 UTC

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Date: Mon, 02 Dec 91 08:32:18
From: (Russ Wright)
Subject: Re: "A Catalog of Available X.500 Implementations" now in a WAIS server
Cc: disi,,
Status: O

> Ruth, Russ, et al.
> I have put the DISI Catalog into a WAIS server running at
> I don't know what the overlap is between the WAIS/Z39.50 community and the 
> community, but if you are familiar with the WAIS software the server is
> located at, port 210, database "disi-catalog".  The original
> source is the "draft-ietf-disi-catalog-01.txt" as found on better 
> archives.  The WAIS source file is ftp-able from
> though I'd be happy to rename it to "x500-catalog.src" if that's the
> preferred name.

Hi Ed,

I just tried it using my Mac WAIS interface.  Works great!  Thanks for 
adding our Catalog.

> It's worth considering whether some more overlap or joint development 
> be pursued to take advantage of the potential synergy between X.500
> implementations and WAIS/Z39.50 services.  Services based on both sets
> of protocols have common problems, including the challenges of resource
> location, specification of document id's for references to external
> resources, and adoption by the great unwashed masses.   

I think it would be very useful for both groups to have a better 
understanding of the two protocols.  Right now people are using WAIS for 
things that X.500 may be more appropriate (phone book information).  On the 
other side X.500 is storing information on documents (something that Z39.50 
was designed for).  I don't want to start a war here.  Both X.500 and 
WAIS/Z39.50 will be around for some time.  Let's try to figure out what they 
do well and use the best one for the particular task at hand.

> An X.500 version
> of the "directory of servers" would seem to be one reasonable approach,
> as would a head-to-head comparison of WAIS and X.500 searches on sample
> data sets.  

I am very interested in both.  The Directory Information Services 
Infrastructure (DISI) group in the IETF is currently working on a paper that 
describes (at a high level) what X.500 does.  This paper will also briefly 
describe other services such as Wais.  If the Wais and X.500 people can come 
to some consensus on a comparison of WAIS to X.500, we may be able to add it 
as an appendix to our paper. Maybe Chris Weider (the DISI chair) will have 
something to say?


Russ Wright
Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory
1 Cyclotron Road
MS 50B-2258
Berkeley,  CA  94720  USA
+1 510-486-6965