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On Fri, 4 May 2001, David Olivier wrote:
> The gecos field is defined in nis.schema with syntax:
> That's cute! But what does it mean?
It means, "the gecos field". It's what is referred to as an Object
Identifier, which is a unique sequence of numbers that identifies some
semantic element. The OID namespace is a tree, so it's possible to walk
down the branches labelled by those numbers between the dots, and
inevitably arrive at (in this case) the gecos field.
> I don't know where "220.127.116.11.4.1.1418.104.22.168.26" is formally defined, but
> in RFC2252 it is referred to as "IA5 String".
Strictly speaking, the *content* of a field named by this OID is to be
interpreted as an IA5 string. "IA5 String" probably has its own OID, by
OIDs are defined in a distributed manner. ISO owns the namespace, and
delegates pieces of it to various organizations. Those organizations
define their own subspaces, and delegate pieces further....
> I don't know where "IA5" is formally defined, but I think I have caught on
> that it's another name for "plain ASCII".
That's a useful approximation. It's International Alphabet 5, as defined
by someone (ISO? CCITT? I forget.)
Mark H. Wood, Lead System Programmer mwood@IUPUI.Edu
Make a good day.