Last Post: September 29, 2006:
IEEE Std 802.11-1997 is the original IEEE WLAN standard. It was replaced twenty one months later with IEEE Std 802.11-1999. That document remains the base document and has been supplemented by eight amendment documents (a, b, d, g, h, i, j, and e, in that order) and one corrigendum document.
IEEE Std 802.11-1999 page iv reads: "This standard is a revision of IEEE Std 802.11-1997. The Management Information Base according to OSI rules has been removed, many redundant management items have been removed, and Annex D has been completed with the Management Information Base according to SNMP. Minor changes have been made throughout the document."
Thinking I might find some clues in these "minor changes" regarding the evolution of 802.11, I did a "stare and compare" of the tables of contents, definitions, acronyms, graphics, and many pages found in the 1997 and 1999 documents and found virtually no changes of substance. The standard appears to have been just as mature in June 1997 as in March 1999.
The IEEE Std 802.11-1999 base document was "Reaffirmed" 12 June 2003, the same day that the 802.11g amendment and the 802.11F recommended practice were ratified. (802.11F was withdrawn in March 2006.) The reaffirmed 802.11-1999 document is the one offered on the IEEE website and bears no apparent change other than a 2003 cover page.
So I have new found respect for 1997 as the solid beginning of the 802.11 standard -- just in time for the ten year anniversary of IEEE 802.11 on 26 June 2007. Will Devin and Kevin throw a party?
I hope this helps. Thanks. /criss