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Re: [802SEC] Questions on Disanding 802.4

I am not arguing with any of this.  Rather I was trying to clarify the specifics of the 802.4 situation.  Right now my view is that if IEEE SA has decided a standard should not be supported (stabilized, withdrawn, whatever) then we should not undertake to support it.  If a WG has no standard requiring support and no active PARs, it has no reason to exist.  I think the rules for a stabilized standard (if they don't already do so) should state that a sponsor is under no obligation to support a standard if it is stabilized.
Talk to you soon,

Matthew Sherman, PhD
Senior Member Technical Staff
Office: +1 973.633.6344

-----Original Message-----
From: Geoff Thompson []
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2004 12:17 PM
To: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
Subject: Re: [802SEC] Questions on Disanding 802.4


By the system set up by Don Loughry long ago, there is a system of several states for an 802 Working Group:

        - Study Group (pre-PAR, activity approved by the EC, seat at EC but no vote)
        - Active (Group has PAR and/or active standards, meets at least every Plenary,
                Chair is a voting member of the EC)
        - Hibernation (Group has active standards but no open PARs or active Study Groups,
                WG does not regularly meet at Plenaries
                Chair is aged out of voting at EC (This is a change from the original)
                "List of Experts" is maintained via a reflector.
                Chair and experts reactivate when revision.)
        - Disbanded (Standards have all been "Withdrawn". WG no longer exists,
                No representative at the EC.
                Standards only exist in withdrawn state.
                No requirements for maintenance or revision.)

The system as currently constituted has not been adjusted for the recent changes at the SA for "Stabilized Standards", a system where standards no longer have any maintenance requirements from the Sponsor but remain active.

When put in place, it was felt that the above was a reasonable system.
Are you saying otherwise?
Are you proposing to change it?
Ifso, what do you propose?


At 08:08 PM 8/5/2004 -0700, Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA) wrote:


It sounds like everything is handled informally since no standard actually exists right now.  What benefit does a hibernating WG provide to the current situation?  It's primary function in my mind it to provide a core of experts to field questions on a standard.  If it does not perform that function, then what is the point of keeping it around?  I'm sympathetic to that fact that there still seems to be a user base, but the user base is not using the WG facility.  So it does not seem to fill a purpose.  Am I missing something?



Matthew Sherman, PhD
Senior Member Technical Staff
Office: +1 973.633.6344

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Eastman []
Sent: Thursday, August 05, 2004 1:37 PM
To: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
Cc:; paul.nikolich@ATT.NET
Subject: Re: Questions on Disanding 802.4

Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA) wrote:

>Dear Paul,
>I'm trying to determine how to vote on this issue.  I was hoping you can help me with some questions.
>1)  Can you provide a list of the "core of experts" that this group maintains to resolve technical issues regarding 802.4 standards?

Since our standard was withdrawn in 2001 and our representation in the
EC was terminated, I did not deem it necessary to continue active
polling of the "core of expertise".  Should it be necessary, I could
probably resurrect 50% or more of the "core of expertise" on very short

>2)  When was the last time a formal inquiry or request for interpretation was made of this group?
The 802.4 standard was very well written.  The last action of the 802.4
group was to suggest that its 802.4L study group reform as 802.11.
 There were no problems, resolved or otherwise, with the standard
published jointly as ISO/IEC 8802-4 (ANSI/IEEE Std. 802.4) Token Passing
Bus 1990

>3)  How often do you receive informal inquiries concerning 802.4?
I personally have continued to receive a couple of inquiries a year,
mostly from academic sources.  In the latest inquiry we even
investigated and gave a rough order of magnitude quote on the
resurrection of both MAC and PHY layers for a Department of Homeland
Security application.

>4)  Off hand, can you identify any specific users of the technology?  How big (in terms of number of nodes) do you estimate the total current deployment is?

There is still a number of places where the carrier band version of
802.4 is being used.  Most of the equipment is being shipped into Japan
through Marubun, an importing company, and to various companies in
India.  There is even some product being sold to Moore Products, a
Seimens company located in Pennsylvania.  Specifically, Hitachi,
Furukawa Electric, Yokagawa and possibly Toyota are Japanese companies
with active systems

>5)  What is the likelihood of any new nodes being added?
The answers to item 4 indicate where additional nodes are still being added.

>6)  Is anyone actually building equipment, as opposed to just using equipment that is still around?
Relcom, Maris Graube's company (Maris was the first chair of the 802
EC), is still manufacturing many nodes per year for the carrierband PHY.
 My company, RF Networks, is still capable but not manufacturing nodes
for the broadband PHY.

>Thanks in advance for any answers you can provide.  Finally, in the quote Paul Nikolich provided, what did you mean by "old standards should have the right to protect their legacy"?  I'm not sure understand what you mean by this.

A lot of work was done to produce an extremely stable standard, both MAC
and PHY.  Should some future work decide to do some work using a token
bus architecture, I would hope that wheels would not be reinvented and
that the pioneers of the work would get some acknowledgment.

>Best Regards,
>Matthew Sherman, PhD
>Senior Member Technical Staff
>Office: +1 973.633.6344


Paul Eastman
RF Networks, Inc.
10201 N. 21st Avenue, Unit 9
Phoenix, AZ  85021
(602) 861-3652
Fax:  (602) 861-0251

  "Worrying about what's right is always more
    important than worrying about who's right."


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