Directory/WAIS BOF in San Diego

Ruth Lang <rlang@NISC.SRI.COM> Thu, 05 December 1991 17:31 UTC

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Subject: Directory/WAIS BOF in San Diego
Date: Thu, 05 Dec 91 09:25:13 GMT
From: Ruth Lang <rlang@NISC.SRI.COM>
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As a vote of support for the BOF proposed by Steve, I've enclosed the
NISI Working Group minutes; see Section 6.  NISI perceives the topic
of information discovery and delivery as very timely and relevant.


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Subject: minutes of the santa fe meeting

FYI, here are the minutes from the most recent IETF bash
in Santa Fe. Comments welcome.
 - Pat
                             Patricia G. Smith                          
                     Merit/NSFNET Information Services                  
   Merit Network, Inc.                           voice (313) 936-3000   
   2901 Hubbard, Pod G                           FAX   (313) 747-3185   
   Ann Arbor, MI  48109-2016                  

Minutes from the NISI Working Group
Internet Engineering Task Force Meeting

November 19, 1991

Santa Fe, New Mexico

April Marine and Patricia Smith, co-chairs


1. NISI Internet Draft Document
All comments are in on this draft. April has made 
the final tweaks and will format it and submit it
as an RFC.  Yea!

2. NIC Profiles X.500 Directory

At the Atlanta meeting in July 1991 the information 
being sought for the NIC Profiles had been discussed at 
length. At the Santa Fe meeting a suggestion was made 
that we not get hung up with that type of discussion 
again but rather make an effort to put information on 
more NICs up in X.500 and allow folks on the NISI and 
DISI lists to play around with it.  Pat indicated she 
would be pro-active in this area and begin to knock on 
NIC doors to solicit their participation.
In addition, the effort to create a friendly user 
interface environment in order to facilitate entry and 
updating of information will continue. 

3. Overlap with User Connectivity WG chaired by Dan Long.

The UC WG is looking at gathering NOC information via 
template for inclusion in some sort of directory. There 
is general agreement that NISI should have some liaison 
activity with UC in order to avoid duplication of 
effort. Pat sat in on the UC meeting on Wednesday and 
told them of the NISI interest. UC members agree that we 
should work together and Pat agreed to stay in touch 
with Dan Long as the NIC directory activity develops.

4. Request for a Database Security Document

After the Atlanta IETF, the IESG tasked the NISI WG with
writing an informational document that makes some
recommendations regarding the need for accuracy and privacy
of data in databases maintained by network information
centers.  After some discussion, it was decided that April
Marine, J. Paul Holbrook, and John Curran will work up a
draft of this RFC which is expected to be only a few pages
long.  In addition, the section on database accuracy that
was added to the current NISI I-D doc, which addresses
much the same concerns, will be retained in that document.

5. Internet Society request from Vint Cerf 

Vint Cerf suggested that the NISI working group collect
information regarding various Internet products and
services.  Evidently this request was prompted by the
fact that the ISOC has received questions about the
Internet and has felt the need of such a collection.
The WG was reluctant to take this on in the form
suggested because the task is one that each NIC does
currently for its own constituency and the task seemed
redundant.  In addition, the CNI is putting together a
directory of directories, lending more weight to the
fact that NISI should not do so as well.  The WG agreed
that one good strategy for ISOC to use with such
callers would be to refer them directly to an existing
Internet information center (the NNSC was specifically
mentioned) for the answers to such general questions as
"what is the Internet?" "what's on the Internet?"  and
"how do I join the Internet?"

However, while this suggestion solved part of the
problem, it led to a related discussion regarding the
problem of easy discovery of information available
about and via the Internet.  Currently, there is no
means for either a NIC or a user to easily determine
what information is available and where.  Neither is
there an easy means for alerting users to information
newly available.  This discussion was a natural lead in
to the following agenda topic.

6. Should NISI be dissolved?

There was discussion of whether or not NISI should be
terminated at the next IETF and emerge as a new working
group.  We decided to take to the mailing list a
discussion of whether or not NISI has accomplished what
it set out to do.  The consensus at first glance
appears to be that if at the next meeting in March the
RFC has been published and other projects are either
completed or well underway, then the San Diego meeting
would be the last one for the NISI group.  The
related issues of information discovery and delivery
could be handled in a new working group in the User
Services Area which would tentatively be called Network
Information Delivery (NID).

NID is seen as filling a very important and timely need 
since, at present, everyone is trying to figure out the 
best and most efficient means of locating and delivering 
information (X.500, WAIS, etc.).  It is felt that we can 
provide critical direction in this area as far as 
understanding and application of the various types of 
directory services currently available.

Over the next couple of months, then, the mailing list
needs to discuss the questions of whether the NISI
group has fulfilled its charter or what else it has
on its plate, what the charter of this new working
group would be, and various matters related to the
work we've recommended in the NISI doc.  Plus we'll
need feedback and comments on the db security draft.
April and Pat will take it upon themselves to try
to get the discussions going on the list.