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From "Lee Passey" <>
Subject OIDs
Date Fri, 12 May 2000 01:55:30 GMT
I have been following with interest the discussion thread on modular 
configuration.  As you might guess, as an employee of Novell I find 
the notion of directory-based configuration, via LDAP, very intriguing.  
I have even started protyping some ideas I had, which I am not quite 
yet prepared to expose to public ridicule.

One thing has come up, however, which I believe requires some prompt 
attention. Graham Leggett suggested storing each directive for an Apache 
Server object in a manner similar to:

objectclass: apacheGlobal
apPort: 80
apLogLevel: warn

My heart tells me that this is the proper approach to LDAP configuration, 
although my head disagrees.  In any case, most, if not all, LDAP compatible 
directories recommend or require unique Object Identifiers (OIDs) for each 
object or attribute type in the schema.  If Apache configuration information 
is going to be stored in an LDAP directory, we should get an assigned root 
OID for the Apache Software Foundation from which all configuration objects 
and attributes can be derived.

There are a number of options we could pursue for an assigned OID.  I 
suspect that I could convince Novell to assign a number to the Apache 
Software Foundation under its arc (2.16.840.1.113719) and I also suspect 
that we could convince someone at IBM to let us have a number under 
its arc ( - point of contact is or maybe 
someone at Sun Microsystems could get us a number under their arc.  I 
personally don't find any of these options particularly appealing as 
the Apache project transcends any corporate interest.

Similarly, while we could seek an assignment from ANSI under 2.16.840.1 
(US company arc) or 2.16.840 (US objects) the Apache project also trans-
cends national boundaries.  In addition, the information available to me 
( indicates that there is a USD 1,000 
registration fee for an ANSI assignment.

Probably the most fitting place for the Apache Software Foundation is in 
1.3 (ISO Identified Organizations).  This is where IBM, Digital Equipment 
Corporation, the IANA, the Open Software Foundation and Thawte Consulting 
sit.  As of late 1996 information about this arc could be obtained from:

        Miss A. M. Wadsworth
        389 Chiswick High Road
        London W4 4AL
        Tel: +44 181 996 7466
        Fax: +44 181 996 7048

A final option is to obtain a number from IANA as an entry in the IANA-
registered Private Enterprises arc.  There are currently 6115 entries 
in this arc for enties ranging from govenments (State of Michigan) to 
universities (U of Tennessee) to private companies (Xylogics, Inc.) to 
non-profit organizations (Florida Teaching Profession - NEA) to individuals.  
Registration is free, and an assignment can be obtained in a matter of days 
from  This is under and so might be a good fit.

I know I don't have to ask for others to comment on this suggestion ...;-)

Re-engaging lurk mode ...

W. Lee Passey
Software Engineer, Novell, Inc.

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