by Darius Kazemi, October 18 2019
Speakers and protocols
RFC-291 is titled “Data Management Meeting Announcement”. It's authored by Douglas McKay of IBM and dated January 14, 1972.
The technical content
There will be a Data Management meeting from February 23 to 24 at MITRE in Northern Virginia. This is a followup to the meeting that was held in August 1971.
Apparently the last meeting highlighted the need to lern more about potential applications for data sharing, so there will be a series of talks from different groups explaining their use cases. The speakers include:
- Captain Roger Moore of US Army R&D Command speaking about medical file sharing.
- Dr. John Senior of the National Medical Board of Examiners speaking about sharing test results.
- Thomas McCauley of Hughes Aircraft discussing unspecified applications (tentative).
- Richard Watson of the NIC talking about the possibility of distributing the NIC archives across the network.
- Someone from MITRE talking about their work for the Internal Revenue Service.
The other piece of the meeting will be to come to agreements on a spec for a data management protocol. A tentative spec will be sent to attendees ahead of time and the plan is to discuss that rather than start from a clean slate. They encourage attendees to submit their own protocol specs as well. The idea is that this protocol will enable “indirect usage” in the RFC-114 sense of the word where users can simply interact with programs and not worry about the file system structure on a remote server at all.
The meeting in 1971 never had any minutes or notes published as an RFC. It's an important reminder that while RFCs are important, they are a small slice of the communication happening inside the Network Working Group.
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I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm an independent technologist and artist. I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with ActivityPub, including a Node.js reference implementation, an RSS-to-ActivityPub converter, and a fork of Mastodon, called Hometown. You can support my work via my Patreon.