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snmpconf Language Related Questions

As most of you know Steve Waldbusser is leading the charge on this aspect of
our work. During the interim meeting we spent quite a lot of time on this
issue. Below are the same questions that I posted in the minutes without
comment on my part.

Steve, perhaps you could start the ball rolling on this by offering
suggestions for these items based on the work you have been doing. Opinions
from everyone are welcome.


Language Related Questions:

1. Language for expressions. To what degree do we want to use an existing
language, and to what extent do we want to define our own?  If we leverage
an existing language, but constrain it to behave in ways that make it
incompatible with the original, then we do not get reuse of language
implementation, although we may get reuse of operator knowledge of languages
like Perl.

2. We need to discuss Choice of language and Richness of language.
Temporary variables, garbage collection; do we support temps or not?

3. Is UTF-8 support required in the expression language?

4. Extensibility Questions:
    For language and assessor functions - a natural one that allows for
    extension without re-opening the standard?
    sub-setting the language (do we allow or prohibit it)?
    sub-setting the assessor functions ibid?

5. Accessor functions  work to be done; reviewing proposed list.  How to
add new ones as they are needed? Can they go outside the SNMP universe?
Mapping of principals, etc?

6. How do we handle versioning issues?

7. There were some standardization questions: standardization of element
identifiers? capability type and subtype? extensibility mechanisms - are
these part of the expression language?

8. Is the attribute of the element predefined? Can there be multiple

9. How big should an expression be?

10. What are the execution environment requirements?

11. Temporary variables - do we want them: How do you dispose of them if we
have them?

12. There were a number of attributes that people felt were desired. These
include: needs to be debug-able - want to avoid memory leaks want to have
instrumentation that helps people find bugs, want to avoid loopers but want

13. Issues about comments - comments in the expression - are they allowed?

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