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[802SEC] FW: Comments on Disbanding 802.4


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

-----Original Message-----
From: Paul Eastman []
Sent: Friday, August 06, 2004 11:23 AM
To: Sherman, Matthew J. (US SSA)
Subject: Re: Comments on Disbanding 802.4

The thing you seem to be missing is that all of 802.4 was thrown out by the EC a few years back.  The arguments I am making now are the same arguments I made when the first motions were made.  Since 802.4 led the way (in developing the concept of hibernation, core of expertise, and other pseudo-sunset concepts) I felt it necessary to fight, not only for 802.4, but for other groups that follow.  I think that it is an important concept that standards complete their work.  I find it particularly abhorrent that 802.3 has tried (successfully) to perpetuate itself to the point where it is not a single standard but rather several individual and separate standards all tied together under a "marketing" umbrella of 802.3.  At one point it was announced in an 802.3 meeting that they had finally developed a CSMA/CD standard that didn't use CS, MA or CD.  When the big fight between 802.12 and the high speed group of 802.3 took place, I argued for an 802.13.  The 802.3 people made it clear that their technical solution was not strong enough to stand on its own and needed the marketing cover of 802.3 to survive.  Thus we ended up with a technically inferior standard that dominated through non-technical considerations.  

I don't particularly care one way or another which way the vote on this issue comes out.  However, I would like to caution you to consider the ramifications of your actions on long term effects.

Please feel free to pass any of my comments on to the rest of the EC.  My attempts at passing my comments through the reflector seem to have been blocked by the administrator.

-- Paul Eastman, Ph.D.
    Former 802.4 Working Group Chair

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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