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The Open Group Distributed Systems Management Working Group

Nick Stoughton <> reports on the May 1997 meeting in Menlo Park

The X/Open System Management Utilities (XSMU) specification went out for Company Review in April, and was concluded during this meeting. This specification has basically two parts; that which has been derived from the now approved POSIX.7.3 standard (user and group administration), and some generalized file system specific interfaces that have been in use for many years, indeed, in the case of mount, almost since UNIX existed. This was my first introduction to a company review on behalf of USENIX. While our contract with The Open Group expressly forbids the open discussion of who said what during any meeting or discussion, I believe I can safely say that USENIX expressed a strong opinion on the value of having some of these interfaces properly specified in a standardized fashion.

Indeed, there were those who believed that to specify interfaces such as mount, fsck and mkfs (OK, mkfs is to be replaced by newfs) would reduce portability between different vendor systems. Or that because we can't agree on the arguments, just knowing that there could be a command with a known name that will do a known task is not useful.

XSMU will be published, soon. It will be a useful specification for us all.

Another important decision was made at this meeting; the Common Information Model (CIM) specification that has reached version 1.0 of its development within the Desktop Management Task Force world is to become jointly sponsored by The Open Group's distributed system management working group. Given that this document has been developed already, and simply needs bringing into an appropriate style, incorporating the most recent changes from DMTF and The Open Group, it should be possible to get it into Company Review as a Common Applications Environment (CAE) specification by September.


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Last changed: Jun 19, 1997 jackson
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