Reference document for ISO Letter Ballot

Lohmeyer, John JLOHMEYE at
Mon Feb 5 13:25:00 PST 1996

* From the SCSI Reflector, posted by:
* "Lohmeyer, John" <JLOHMEYE at>

I have received the reference material in electronic format for the X3T10 
letter ballot regarding the ISO New Work Item (96-014r0).  I've converted it 
to ASCII (of course losing some of the formatting).  It is attached to this 


John Lohmeyer, Chair X3T10 Technical Committee
                                                         ISO/IEC JTC 1 N 

                                                            Date: 1996-01-15

                                 ISO/IEC JTC 1
                            INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
                          Secretariat: U.S.A. (ANSI)


TITLE:        Proposal for a New Work Item: SCSI Specifications for  Optical
              Memory Card Reader/Writer

SOURCE:       Secretariat, ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC 17

PROJECT:      --

STATUS:       New Work Item which, if approved, will be assigned to SC 17 

REQUESTED ACTION:   Please complete the enclosed letter ballot and return it
                    to the JTC 1 Secretariat no later 30 April 1996.

                    Comments should be submitted to the Secretariat in
                    electronic format (via email or diskette).

DISTRIBUTION:              P and L Members
                          SC 17 Secretariat

Address Reply to:
Secretariat - ISO/IEC JTC1- American National Standards Institute, 11 West
42nd Street, NY, NY 10036
Telephone: 212 642 4932; Facsimile:  212 398 0023; e-mail: 
 lrajchel at

                                PROPOSAL FOR A NEW WORK ITEM
                                Date of presentation of     Proposer
                                15 January 1996             ISO/IEC JTC1/SC 
                                Secretariat                 ISO/IEC JTC 1
                                APACS for BSI               SC17

A proposal for a new work item shall be submitted to the secretariat of
the ISO/IEC joint technical committee concerned
 with a copy to the ISO Central Secretariat..

Presentation of the proposal  -  to be completed by the proposer

Guidelines for proposing and justifying a new work item are given in ISO
Guide 26.  For ease of reference an  extract is given overleaf.

 Title (subject to be covered and type of standard, e.g. terminology, method 
of test,
 performance requirements, etc.)
 SCSI Specifications for Optical Memory Card Reader/Writer

 Scope (and field of application)
 A subset of commands of SCSI interface used for optical memory card
 reader/writer taking program interface into consideration.

 Purpose and justification - attach a separate page as annex, if necessary
 Make programming interface for optical memory card reader/writer units
 uniquely defined independently from reader/writer unit venders.

 Programme of work
 If the proposed new work item is approved , which of the following 
 is (are) expected to be developed?
     a single Annex to an International Standard
     more than one International Standard (expected number: ......)
     a multi-part International Standard consisting of .......... parts
 X   an addendum or addenda to the following International Standard(s) ..
     ISO/IEC 9316.
     a technical report , type .......

  Relevant documents to be considered
 ISO/IEC 11693, ISO/IEC 11694, ISO/IEC 9316.

 Co-operation and liaison
 SC 25/WG 4

 Prepatory work offered with target date(s)          Signature
 31 July 1996

 Will the services of a maintenance agency or registration authority be 
      If yes, have you identified a potential candidate? 

      If yes, indicate name  ...........................................
 Are there any known requirements for coding? 
     If yes, please specify on a separate page 

 Does the proposed standard concern known patented items? 
 If yes, please provide full information in an annex 

Comments and recommendations of the JTC secretariat - attach a separate
page as annex, if necessary

Comments with respect to the proposal in general, and recommendations 
It is proposed to assign this new item to SC 17/WG 9

Voting on the proposal

Each P-member of the ISO/IEC joint technical committee has an obligation
to vote within the time limits laid down (normally three months after
the date of circulation)

 Date  of circulation    Closing date for         Signature of JTC secretary

 1996-01-15              1996-04-30               Lisa A. Rajchel

                          PROPOSAL FOR NEW WORK ITEM


Identification cards & related devices - SCSI specifications for optical
memory card reader/writer


This NWI will define the command specifications which are part of the
user interface between the Optical Memory Card Reader/Writer (hereafter
OMC R/W) and its controlling host computer.  The command specifications
are to be compliant with the SCSI standard.


Standards for the Optical Memory Card itself are now established, and
OMC R/Ws have already been marketed by several companies; however, OMC
R/W user interface specifications have yet to be standardised.  To date,
OMC R/W user interface specifications are vendor specific and are
incompatible at the command level.  Consequently, an application program
built for a particular OMC R/W has to be modified for other OMC models.
Moreover, the lack of command compatibility is seen as a disadvantage by
users, which is likely to prevent the widespread take-up of OMCs by the
market.  Users therefore, request that application programs must be
capable of supporting multiple vendors' OMC R/Ws without modification.

In order to implement command compatibility, it is necessary to specify
the user interface specifications between any OMC R/W and its
controlling host computer.  One way of doing this is to leave the
specification to the manufacturers.  They would then describe
driver/library specifications to access their OMC R/W from any
application programs.  However, this approach has the following

          -  It would be necessary to prepare a driver/library for
             each vendor's OMC R/W.

          - When the OMC R/W is replaced by a different model, its
            corresponding driver/library would have to be installed.

          - It would be difficult to produce one common driver/library
            able to connect/control multiple vendors' OMC R/Ws.  Even if
            such a driver/library were produced, newly developed OMC R/Ws
            may not be supported as they are likely to require new or
            unsupported commands.

The above problems can be overcome by standardising a SCSI command
specification for OMC R/Ws.  By creating such a  standard, it is
reasonable to expect that a standardised access library including BIOS,
would become available for OMC R/Ws.  Such a standard would thus be
attractive to both vendors of drivers and users alike.  This NWI will
produce the SCSI command specifications for OMC R/Ws, to form the basis
of the user interface specification.  From this:

          - It would be possible to create one driver/library to control
            all OMC R/W regardless of the vendor.

          - Specific OMC R/Ws do not require the installation of
            their own driver/library.

          - The driver/library can control a newly developed OMC R/W
            regardless of whether it was catered for or not at the time of
            developing the driver/library.

In order to standardise OMC R/W command specifications, it is desirable
to choose the optimum command specifications from among the available
interface specifications.  Choosing any new or unique specification
would lack compatibility with existing conventional technology.  This
NWI aims to produce a command specification based on SCSI for the
following reasons:

          - All OMC R/W providers support SCSI.

          - SCSI is the standard interface supported by the computer and
            peripherals industry.

          - When the logical block accessing mode is employed (as
            described by SCSI) the user interface is independent of the
            OMC format and recording method used.

The SCSI standard is extremely flexible and provides for a wide range of
user options, including vendor specific if required.  Consequently, SCSI
compliant specifications are not required to be identical and can vary
|from each other.  For example, to read data from an OMC sector, either a
vendor specific Read Data command or a standardised Read command could
be used, both of which are compliant with the SCSI standard.  Although
SCSI is already standardised, an OMC R/W command compliant with SCSI has
yet to be standardised in any uniform manner.

This NWI would specify the command specifications based on the SCSI
standard which every OMC R/W should commonly support.  However, vendors
would not be prevented from implementing other commands outside of those
specified by this NWI.

Additionally, data access via SCSI normally employs a fixed block size.
Optical Memory Cards are capable of supporting various sector sizes.
This NWI will specify a method to select the appropriate block size for
the OMC R/W and OMC card being used.

John Lohmeyer             E-Mail:  john.lohmeyer at
Symbios Logic Inc.         Voice:  719-573-3362
1635 Aeroplaza Dr.           Fax:  719-573-3037
Colo Spgs, CO 80916     SCSI BBS:  719-574-0424 300--14400 baud

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