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Miami - a new TCP/IP stack for Internet access

This is the first preliminary announcement regarding Miami, a new TCP/IP
protocol stack for Internet access by modem.  Miami is currently "work in
progress".  Functional beta versions are not available yet, but you can get
more information and preliminary screen shots from my web page (see
signature).

I am also asking everyone interested in a new TCP/IP stack to participate
in the development by providing me information about your modem, dialing
conventions in your country and your Internet provider.  Your help could
ensure that the first release of Miami already supports a wide range of
configurations and Internet providers.  Please have a look at my web page
for more information.


The current Amiga Internet situation from my point of view:

Many users have told me personally or posted on Usenet that they are
unhappy with the current choices for Internet access (usually AmiTCP/
ppp.device or AmiTCP/cslip.device).  Although AmiTCP is in itself a very
powerful and well-written program, it has not been specifically designed
for modem-based Internet access, i.e.

- it has many features that most users do not need (e.g.  gatewaying, very
  extensive configuration)

- it is rather difficult to configure

- you need to know all configuration parameters (dial script etc.) in
  advance, i.e.  AmiTCP/ppp.device cannot dial up your Internet provider
  and find out the required settings by themselves.

- it is not an "Amiga-ish" application, i.e. it lacks a GUI

- it does not handle "dialing" in any way (well, at least until AmiTCP 4.2.
  I have not had a chance to check the quality of the 4.3 dialer yet).

- it does not support some of the new features that many new Internet
  providers (mostly Win-NT-RAS and Cisco/Xyplex) use, e.g.  automatic DNS
  server discovery through IPCP/BootP.

Besides AmiTCP only supports SANA-II.  Although SANA-II is a Very Good
Thing (tm) for Ethernet-like networks it can be a real burden for
modem-based Internet access, because the SANA-II standard lacks some
features required for dialup connections.  Most integrated TCP/IP protocol
stacks on other platforms only use packet drivers (the equivalent of
SANA-II) for Ethernet-like networks, but use integrated PPP/SLIP for dialup
connections.  This is not possible with AmiTCP.

All of the above taken together makes it unnecessarily difficult to use
AmiTCP with ppp/slip, and there is no way around this without redesigning
*all* of it.


Now about Miami:

Miami is an attempt to make Internet access on the Amiga as easy as
possible.  Simple (mostly automatic) configuration has been my primary goal
throughout the design and implementation of Miami.

Miami contains a complete TCP/IP stack based on the latest BSD networking
code (net/3, 4.4).  It also contains a dialer (both script-driven and
interactive), and builtin PPP and (C)SLIP.  All of this is controlled and
configured through a single GUI (MUI-based), that is completely localized.
There are *no* configuration files to create or edit *whatsoever*.  All of
the settings are stored in a single IFF file, allowing you to have multiple
distinct configurations for different Internet providers.

In addition Miami comes with a GUI-based configuration program "MiamiInit"
that automatically configures your Internet setup and creates a suitable
settings file.  MiamiInit is already available in an early beta version
from my web page (see signature), so you can check out if Miami would work
with your system and Internet provider (and if it does not: tell me about
it so I can fix it before release :-)).

Miami intentionally does not support SANA-II, because SANA-II support would
require a lot of additional configuration (routing, netmaks etc.) and thus
make the program more difficult to use, just like AmiTCP.  SANA-II support
might be added later, though, as a "power user option".

Miami will be compatible to both AmiTCP 4.x (bsdsocket.library) and AS-225
(socket.library), so most programs available for these stacks should work
with Miami.

Miami will be shareware.  Pricing has not been finalized yet, but the
registration fee will probably be below $40.  And there will probably be
some discounted upgrade path for registered users of ppp.device :-).  I
expected the first release to be ready in June or July 96.


For more information, a more detailed feature list, screen shots of Miami
and beta versions of MiamiInit please have a look at my web page (see
signature).  For comments/questions please send email to
"kruse@america.com".

Please DO NOT send email about

- beta-testing Miami.  I do not need additional external beta-testers at
  this time.

- MUI as the GUI engine.  There is no other GUI engine that even remotely
  offers the features MUI does, and the decision to use MUI is final.