Standards Update Poll

John S. Quarterman jsq at
Sun Aug 19 05:49:50 AEST 1990

From:  jsq at (John S. Quarterman)

echo poll.intro
cat >poll.intro <<'shar.poll.intro.2591'

For a couple of years, The USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee
has been collecting and distributing reports on the meetings of various
standards committees related to the UNIX operating system.  These are
known by various names, such as the ``snitch reports,'' and they appear
in this newsgroup and mailing list under subjects starting ``Standards
Update'' and with titles in the body of the text like:

           An Update on UNIX*-Related Standards Activities

They are also published in ;login: The Newsletter of the USENIX Association.

In addition, Dominic Dunlop reports on the ISO/IEC JTC1 SC22 WG15 (ISO POSIX)
committee meetings, under a joint commission from EUUG and USENIX.

These reports seem to be pretty well received, particularly in the last
year since Jeff Haemer, as snitch report editor, has succeeded in
finding snitches (committee members who submit reports) in most of the
IEEE TCOS committees and other related committees.  At least we don't
get many complaints.  But we don't actually get much feedback of any
kind.  We have reached a point where we need some, because we are
trying to set budgets, policies, and directions for the next year and
more.  Possibilities include:  a separate paper standards newsletter,
perhaps in conjunction with UniForum; no change from the current
arrangements; or even abolishing the reports.

So, a poll.

Please do mail responses:  this is your chance to have a strong and
direct effect on these reports and on what USENIX does regarding standards.
It's long, but that gives you a chance to say exactly what you want.
If you don't want to answer all of it, please answer part of it.

John S. Quarterman, USENIX Standards Liaison, jsq at

echo poll.questions
cat >poll.questions <<'shar.poll.questions.2591'

The poll.

Please mail your answers electronically to jsq at or uunet!usenix!jsq.

The easiest way to answer the poll is to extract this shar archive.  Put
this message in a file, e.g., poll.shar, delete the news or mail headers,
and do:
	sh poll.shar
A shell script will then run and ask you questions interactively.

If you want to answer by hand, try to have a mail header with
	Subject: Re: Standards Update Poll
which is what you should get just by replying to this message.
Append your answers to each line that has a question, like this:

0:	Sample question (y or n):

0a: is this a silly sample question?	y

The code at the beginning of the line and your answer as a separate word
at the end make it easy to add up the answers with an awk script.

Yes or no questions.  Please append y or n to the end of each line.

1: Do you read (y or n):

1a: the newsgroup comp.std.unix?
1A: 	the snitch reports in comp.std.unix?
1B: 	the EUUG and USENIX reports on WG15 in comp.std.unix?

1b: the mailing list std-unix at
1C: 	the snitch reports in std-unix at
1D: 	the EUUG and USENIX reports on WG15 in std-unix at

1c: the USENIX newsletter ;login:?
1E: 	the snitch reports in ;login:?
1F: 	the EUUG and USENIX reports on WG15 in ;login:?

1d: the EUUG newsletter EUUGN?
1G: 	the EUUG and USENIX reports on WG15 in EUUGN?

1e: the UniForum magazine CommUNIXations?
1H: 	the UniForum standards articles in CommUNIXations?

1f: the USENIX white paper on System Administration for IEEE 1003.7?
1g: the UniForum POSIX Explored series of technical papers?
1h: the UniForum white paper on Internationalization?

1i: the standards column in UNIX Review?
1j: the standards column in Sun Expert?
1k: the standards column in IEEE Computer?

1n: standards articles in IEEE Micro Magazine?
1o: standards articles in IEEE Spectrum?

1p: the IEEE Standards Bearer?
1q: the IEEE Computer Society's Standards Status Report?
1r: the IEEE/CS TCOS newsletter?
1s: the POSIX Tracking Report from Digital?
1t: Nina Lytton's Open Systems Observer?
1u: Marosi's standards newsletter?

1v: standards articles in UNIX Technology Advisor?
1w: standards articles in UNIX Today!?
1x: standards articles in UNIX Journal?
1y: standards articles in UniForum's UniNews?

1z: the book Information Technology Standardization by Carl Cargill?

2: (Your answers do not commit you to anything.)
2: Would you or your company (y or n):

2a: join USENIX ($40/year) to get the snitch reports in ;login:?
		(you'd also get the journal Computing Systems)
2b: pay $35/year to get a separate paper standards newsletter?
2c: pay $20/year as a USENIX member for the standards newsletter?
2d: pay $1000/year to be a patron of such a newsletter?

Rating questions.  Please append a number from 1 (worst) to 5 (best).

3: What do you really hate (1) or like (5) about the snitch reports:

3a: timeliness?
3b: coordination with standards meetings?
3c: accuracy?
3d: level of technical detail?

3e: context (effects on other committees or on the industry)?
3f: opinions of snitches?
3g: opinions of report editor?
3h: editing?
3i: editorials?
3j: oversight by publisher?

4: What do you want less (1-2), the same (3), or more (4-5) of:

4a: timeliness?
4b: coordination with standards meetings?
4c: accuracy?
4d: level of technical detail?

4e: context (effects on other committees or on the industry)?
4f: opinions of snitches?
4g: opinions of report editor?
4h: editing?
4i: editorials?
4j: oversight by publisher?

4k: analytical reports (like the UniForum ones in CommUNIXations)?
4l: number of committees covered?
4m: number of reports?
4n: length of each report?
4o: length of editorial?

5: What should USENIX do less (1-2), the same (3), or more (4-5) of:

5a: Moderate newsgroups and mailing lists?
5b: Publish reports on standards activities?

5c: Hold informal Birds of a Feather (BOF) meetings at conferences?
5d: Hold formal sessions on standards at conferences?
5e: Hold workshops on standards?

5f: Encourage appropriate people to get involved in the standards process?
5g: Write and present proposals to standards bodies in specific areas?
5h: Vote with specific comments on standards that are balloting?

5i: Sponsor White Papers in particularly problematical areas?
5j: Lobby standards oversight bodies regarding procedures?

5k: Collaborate with other user groups?
5A: 	Collaborate with UniForum?
5B: 	Collaborate with EUUG (European UNIX systems User Group)?
5C:	Collaborate with AFUU (Association Francaise des Utilisateurs d'UNIX)?
5D:	Collaborate with AUUG (Australian UNIX systems Users Group)?
5E:	Collaborate with GUUG (The German UNIX Systems User Group)?
5F:	Collaborate with JUS (Japan UNIX Society)?
5G:	Collaborate with NLUUG (The Netherlands UNIX Users Group)?
5H:	Collaborate with Sinix (The Singapore UNIX Association)?
5H:	Collaborate with UKUUG (The United Kingdom Unix systems Users' Group)?

5l: Collaborate with vendor associations?
5J: 	Collaborate with X/Open?
5K: 	Collaborate with Unix International?
5L: 	Collaborate with the Open Software Foundation?

5m: Collaborate with vendor-specific user groups?
5M: 	Collaborate with ADUS (Apollo DOMAIN Users' Society)?
5N: 	Collaborate with DECUS (Digital Equipment Computer Users Society)?
5O: 	Collaborate with Interex (Internat. Assoc. of HP Computer Users)?
5P:	Collaborate with NUUG (NCR Unix User Group)?
5Q: 	Collaborate with SUG (Sun User Group)?

6: Are you a member of (y or n):

6b: UniForum?
6c: EUUG?

6d: AFUU?
6e: GUUG?
6f: NLUUG?
6g: UKUUG?

6h: AUUG?
6i: JUS?

6j: Other user group?

6o: IEEE Computer Society?
6p: IEEE?
6q: ACM?

6r: Other professional society?

6X: a standards committee working group (attend meetings)?
6Y: the paper correspondence list for a standards committee?
6Z: in the balloting group for a standards committee?

7: Are you (y or n):

7a: a user?
7b: an application implementor?
7c: a system interface implementor?
7d: a test suite implementor?

7e: in sales?
7f: in marketing?
7g: in procurement?

7h: a manager?
7i: an executive?

8: Comments.  Write whatever you like in response to each question.

8a: What other committees should be covered?

8b: What committees should *not* be covered?

8c: What else should the USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee do?

8d: What should the USENIX Standards Watchdog Committee *not* do?

8e: What else should USENIX do regarding standards?

8f: What should USENIX *not* do regarding standards?

8g: What else do you want us to know?

9: If you like, please give your name and postal mail address here,
9: especially if you want to be on our contact list for the potential
9: standards newsletter, or if you would like to receive ;login:.
9: Please include your favorite electronic mail address (it's
9: probably in the header of your message, but a clear text copy
9: here will most likely be more legible), and telephone number.


Thanks for answering the poll.  Please send it to jsq at

John S. Quarterman, USENIX Standards Liaison, jsq at

cat > <<''

echo "To: jsq at
Subject: Re: Standards Update Poll
" > $out
cat $out
date >> $out
echo "" >> $out

exec 3<&0
exec <$in
exec 4<&0

echo "Your answers are being recorded in the file $out.
Answering the poll should take about ten or fifteen minutes."

while read line
	case "$line" in
		echo "
		echo "
$line" >> $out
	[1-9][a-zA-Z]:*) exec 0<&3 ;;
	*) continue ;;
	case "$line" in
		case "$head" in
		*"(y or n)"*)
			case "$lastyes" in
			[Yy]*) ;;
				echo "$line n" >> $out
				exec 0<&4
			case "$lastyes" in
				echo "$line $lastyes" >> $out
				exec 0<&4
	case "$head" in
	*"(y or n)"*)
		while true
			echo "$line [y or n]? "
			read yes || break
			case $yes in
			[Yy]*) echo "$line y" >> $out; break ;;
			[Nn]*) echo "$line n" >> $out; break ;;
			echo "$head"
		while true
			echo "$line [1-5]? "
			read yes || break
			case "$yes" in
			[1-5]) echo "$line $yes" >> $out; break ;;
			echo "$head"
		echo "$line
Type as much as you want to, and end with a blank line."
		echo $line >> $out
		while read yes
			case $yes in
			"") break ;;
			\.) break ;;
			"^D") break ;;
			echo $yes >> $out
	case "$line" in
	exec 0<&4
echo "" >> $out
date >> $out
echo "Your poll answers are in the file $out.

Please mail them to jsq at or uunet!usenix!jsq, with a command like
	/bin/mail jsq at < $out

Volume-Number: Volume 21, Number 43

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