Re: Whois++ and X.500

Chris Weider <> Wed, 27 September 1995 16:17 UTC

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From: Chris Weider <>
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Date: Wed, 27 Sep 1995 11:47:50 -0400
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Subject: Re: Whois++ and X.500

  have you looked at my Common Indexing Protocol paper yet?
In addition, there are several other features that WHOIS++ supports that
X.500 does not: the primary one is being able through the protocol to determine
which schema a given server has in order to form a query, and the concomitant
ability to broadcast and collect these schema from other servers without having
to use an out-of-band process to define and develop schema.

We have a major testbed project for WHOIS++ which has been funded by the National
Science Foundation which is looking at a number of things; the first is a 
good scientific analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of centroid indexing
and the scaling problems; a second one is the addition of strong security to
the protocol. 

Adding WHOIS++ features to X.500 seems problematic to me. Paul's work on index
DSAs, while quite useful, still  has to put the Index DSA *somewhere* in the
DIT; the problem then becomes now navigating to the correct Index DSA for the
search you wish to issue. And maintaining the links between the indexed
information and the places which index it are again going to require major
changes to the X.500 protocol, especially since there are still no
bi-directional aliases in the protocol.

I'm not here to claim that WHOIS++ will solve every problem in the world.
But I am stating that WHOIS++ is becoming a serious alternative to X.500
for directory services. I worked on X.500 for two years back in the early
'90s. That's why I decided to help build a new protocol.