# What does OIW stand for

There seem to be many OID's that have been put in the ASN.1 tree that have the following ISO identified organization: OIW.

One example is SHA-1 (ElGamal seems to be another):

id-SHA1 OBJECT IDENTIFIER ::=
{iso(1) identified-organization(3) oiw(14) secsig(3)
algorithms(2) 26 }


Can anybody explain what this organization entailed? It seems to have been an OSI workshop where NIST participated with other organizations to set up standards. But there is precious little information to find on the internet.

The SHA-1 standard lists it as the "NIST / OSI Implementors' Workshop". But that seems to be little reason for it to specify SHA-1 in itself.

• I hope this is sufficiently on topic. I tried to look up where a particular Algorithm Identifier for ElGamal was defined, but internet searches provided precious little information. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 3 '14 at 16:05
• Open System Implementors Workshop alvestrand.no/objectid/1.3.14.html – Henrick Hellström Oct 3 '14 at 16:17
• books.google.se/… – Henrick Hellström Oct 3 '14 at 16:19
• Thanks Henrick, and I had the enjoyment of upping my Swedish too :) Posted it as an answer if you don't mind. To everybody: anything more definitive as an answer (i.e. what this organization actually comprised of and actually did) would be appreciated. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '14 at 15:26

I'll port the contents of the link of Henrick:

Within the United States, one key forum for profile collaboration is the Open Systems Environment Implementors Workshop (OIW), which is hosted by NIST. OIW recently expanded its domain of concerns from communications to the full range of Open System Environment issues (interoperability, portability, and consistency of user interfaces, parallel to the IEEE 1003.0 Guide), although no II specific projects have been defined for OIW yet. OIW is the regional workshop for the Americas, collaborating with parallel bodies in Asia (AOW) and in Europe (EWOS). Together these groups have the authority to forward documents for approval by JTC1 as "International Standardized Profiles," which reflects the ideal status for information infrastructure specification: a coherent suite of well-defined standards adopted by the international standards community.

Not very helpful in itself, but this is the most concise meaning so far (it doesn't make it clear what it actually does or who it consists of at all though).

• Where JTC1 is of course the IT technical committee of ISO/IEC. – Maarten Bodewes Oct 4 '14 at 16:37

Disclaimer: My interest in this post arise from a question of mine, which I intend to answer some day later after writing up this one.

OIW stands for OSI Implementors' Workshop. This group was mentioned in PKCS#1 v1.5 RFC 2313, and this is where it intersects with cryptography. The information on this group is now sparse, and I only manage to trace to 2 of its most important output.

When I put the keywords NIST/OSI Implementors' Workshop documents into Bing, FIPS-PUB-146-1 popped up, and I traced its citations to NIST-SP-500-202 parts 1 and 2.

NIST-SP-500-202 (listed here) is an interesting read for its historical value. Parts of the image scanning are having JPEG DCT corruption artifacts, but the text information are mostly integral.

Now I can answer Maarten's comment:

what this organization actually comprised of

The group had participants from several SIGs (special interest groups) representing:

• AT&T (and Bell Labs)
• Boeing Computer Serv.
• Control Data Corp.
• Digital Equipment Corp.
• Hewlett Packard
• Interactive Systems Corp.
• IBM (and its Canadian subsidiary)
• The Mitre Corps.
• NIST
• Network Management Associates, Inc.
• OSIWARE
• Proginet.
• Trusted Info. Systems

and actually did

Let's just look at the excerpt from Section 4. Purpose of the Workshop from Part 1 - General Information of SP-500-202p1

In February, 1983, at the request of industry, NIST organized the OSI Implementors' Workshop (OIW) for Implementors of OSI to bring together future users and potential suppliers of OSI protocols. The Workshop accepts as input the specifications of emerging standards for protocols and produces as output agreements on the implementation and testing particulars of these protocols. This process is expected to expedite the development of OSI protocols and promote interoperability of independently manufactured data communications equipment.

There is probably not going to be mailing list archive available, as the SMTP internet standard RFC-821 was published just a year before, as such email technologies was by then likely unavailable.

Lastly, for those living in places with a national firewall, the title of the book mentioned in the comment is:

Standards Policy for Information Infrastructure

Edited by Brian Kahin and Janet Abbate.

I managed to extract this information by putting the book ID query parameter of the Google Books URL into my local search engine, and it turned up the title of the book.