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What does the "System clock has been set back" error mean? My clock is correct!

This error message may be given by the MIB Smithy Evaluation license manager when when the application is launched if it appears that your system clock has been set to a date in the past.

The license manager in the evaluation will check for files on your computer with time stamps that appear to be in the future (later than the system clock). Some of the locations checked include temporary directories, log directories, and your Windows directory. Check your computer for any files with time stamps later than your system clock and correct, move or remove them as appropriate. The evaluation should then function normally.

How does MIB Smithy format quoted text (e.g. DESCRIPTION fields)?

Quoted text (such as in "DESCRIPTION" fields) may be interpreted or formatted differently than the original source file. MIB Smithy goes to some effort to intuit which parts of such text are paragraphs that should be word wrapped and which parts appear to be pre-formatted diagrams, but this is not always precise. In a future release, XML support will allow more direct control over text formatting, such as allowing portions to be specified as pre-formatted or in tabular form.

The way MIB Smithy formats these text fields is as follows:

  • Lines of 45 characters or fewer in length are interpreted as a list and are output as-is, without being joined with the following line or wrapped.
  • A line consisting entirely of three or more hyphen, plus, and/or bar characters (-, +, |), with or without spaces, and the non-empty line immediately above (if any) is interpreted as the beginning of a diagram. All text up to the next blank line (if any) are included in the diagram and are not wrapped.
  • If the maximum line-width of a diagram or list is less than the maximum after-margin line width, minus 4 characters, then it is indented 4 characters in from the left margin of the rest of the text.
  • All other lines of text are automatically joined with the lines following and word-wrapped.

For example, the table in the "DESCRIPTION" field for the RowStatus TEXTUAL-CONVENTION is longer than the maximum line width with the normal margin, so it is not indented. However, each line in the layer/functionality table in sysServices (RFC 1907) is fewer than 45 characters and thus is indented 4 characters from the rest of the DESCRIPTION text.

How does MIB Smithy process/format ASN.1 comments?

ASN.1 comments in source MIB files created manually (e.g. with a text editor) may show up in a different location or with different formatting when saved by MIB Smithy. This is because each comment must be assigned to an appropriate record or to a named-number enumeration label/value. Such appropriate records are MIB modules, ASN.1 value/type assignments, a macro invocation such as OBJECT-TYPE, or a conformance module, group or variation within a MODULE-COMPLIANCE or AGENT-CAPABILITIES statements. Generally speaking, any item visible in the Browser tab of the Project panel in the MIB Smithy GUI is considered a record that can have comments associated with it (exceptions being the project file its self, its files, or one of the special folders containing ASN.1 type/value assignments).

In general, it is considered bad practice among MIB designers to place comments in between token elements or fields in a MIB module (such as between a STATUS field and a DESCRIPTION field). MIB Smithy will preserve such comments; however, they will be output immediately preceding the record that they are associated with in the generated MIB file. This is due to the way comments are processed at load time, and because it would be infeasible and cumbersome to the user for the MIB Smithy GUI to provide comment fields for every property of every record type. As well, MIB designers should use comments sparingly, using the more appropriate DESCRIPTION fields of most record types.

When a MIB file is parsed (i.e., loaded), MIB smithy will temporarily associate each comment with the token that immediately follows the comment. All such comments are then joined together and assigned to the most logical record (or enumeration, as the case may be). For example, all comments immediately preceding the identifier for an OBJECT-TYPE definition, up to the point immediately preceding the last token of the definition's OBJECT IDENTIFIER value (the closing brace or '}' character), not including those associated with enumeration labels/values, are joined and assigned to the OBJECT-TYPE definition. Any comments before a MIB module header, through the IMPORTS section, and after the last definition within the module, are joined and associated with the module its self.

The process is similar for comments associated with enumeration labels/values. All comments between the opening and closing braces ('{' and '}') surrounding the enumeration list are joined and associated with the closest enumeration. In general, this means any comments immediately preceding an enumeration's label through any comments immediately preceding the comma separator. If any comments follow the last enumeration (immediately preceding the closing brace), then those comments will be associated with the last enumeration. Also, in this case, if the first enumeration had no preceding comments, then MIB Smithy will assume comments are formatted following each enumeration, rather than before, and adjust the comment associations accordingly.

What's the difference between MIB Smithy and MIB Smithy Evaluation?

The Evaluation version of MIB Smithy is intended to provide a reasonable demonstration of the use and capabilities of the MIB Smithy product, which can be purchased online from this web site. Functionally, both versions are identical except for the following limitations in the Evaluation version that are not present in the full version:

  • 15-day "trial" period. After 15 days, you must purchase the full version of the software or, if you have not finished evaluating the product, download a new temporary license key.
  • Maximum of 3 files per project. You can use the Evaluation version with any number of MIB files/modules, but only 3 may be loaded into a project at one time. Thus, cross-checking of dependencies between MIB modules may be limited in the Evaluation version, since only those modules that have been loaded will be cross-checked.
  • You cannot save MIB files or project files in the Evaluation version. You can, however, experiment with creating new MIB modules and editing existing MIB modules/files, as well as preview those changes and see what the saved file would look like in the full version.
  • You cannot copy generated MIB module text to the clipboard from the preview in order to bypass the save file restrictions.
  • The available release for the Evaluation version may at times lag behinds releases of the full version. Priority is given to releases of the full version to provide new/requested features and fixes to our customers that are not necessarily required to evaluate the software.

Why do checkbuttons appear broken in menus until the menu item is highlighted or hovered over with the mouse?

This is due to an incompatibility between Tk and some older versions of Windows. The incompatibility is (or was) between how Tk draws menus and the animated menu/window feature (i.e., the feature that causes menus to "grow down" rather than simply appear). Turning this feature off normally corrects the problem. How this is done depends on the Windows version. Check your display properties in the control panel.