[ih] RE: ARPANET Telnet design story

Steve Crocker steve at stevecrocker.com
Wed Dec 18 15:19:06 PST 2002


I put the article into Word and scribbled some comments.  If you have
trouble with Word, let me know and I'll transform the marked up document
into something else.

Several other folks on this list were primary participants and can
comment authoritatively.  My comments reflect my best recollection, but
it won't surprise me if recollections differ.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Adriana C. Arrington [mailto:aca at cs.utexas.edu] 
> Sent: Wednesday, December 11, 2002 11:14 AM
> To: internet-history at postel.org; amckenzie3 at yahoo.com; 
> steve at stevecrocker.com; vinton.g.cerf at wcom.com; 
> jeff at rulifson.org; dave at walden-family.com
> Cc: Chris Edmondson-Yurkanan
> Subject: ARPANET Telnet design story
> Hello,
> I am continuing the research for the technical history of 
> Telnet with Chris Edmondson-Yurkanan for the THINK Protocols project.
> The goal of THIS email is to solicit some stories, opinions, 
> regrets, deadends, etc. on the design (or early usage) of the 
> Telnet protocol, that would add the personal touch to the 
> story, help engage the novice reader in the subject, and 
> perhaps better explain some decisions made in the development 
> of the protocol.  The time frame for the story is mainly 
> between 1968 and 1973, but any experiences after 1973 are 
> also welcome.
> I have included the outline of the story as a reference, and 
> in case you are interested, the URL to the current version of 
> the story: 
> http://www.cs.utexas.edu/users/chris/think/Project_Management/
> F2002/aca/CurrentTelnet.html
> Thanks,
> Adriana Arrington
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> ---------
> The Design of the Telnet Protocol for the ARPANET
> Outline
> December 5, 2002
> -Introduction
> -The State of Networking and the Struggle to Organize (ARPANET
>  introduction)
> -Ad-hoc Telnet: The First Attempts at Demonstrating Remote  
> Login on the ARPANET (Late 1969)
> -The Old Telnet Protocol (1971 - 1973)
>   =Why Telnet Became a Protocol
>   =First Issues in the Effort to Standardize (Early 1971)
>     +The Need for a Consistent Character Set
>     +To Echo or Not to Echo
>     +The Trouble with Interrupt Handling on the Server Side
>     +Making the Telnet Connection
>   =The Necessity of the Network Virtual Terminal and the N^2 Problem
>   =The Experience with Old Telnet (1973)
>     +Asymmetrical Control Structure
>     +Little Room for Expanding the Number of Control 
> Functions and Options
>     +The Problem with the Character-at-a-Time and Line-at-a-Time Hosts
> (what follows has yet to be written)
> -The New Telnet Protocol (1973 - 1980)
>   =The More Symmetrical Telnet: WILL, WONT, DO, DONT
>   =Negotiated Options - A Key Concept
>   =Solving the Echoing Problem
>   =Expanding the Set of Control Functions with IAC
>   =Help for Half-Duplex Systems: The Go-Ahead Control Function
>   =Comments and Experiences with the New Implementation
> -Conclusion
>   =Summary
>   =Relationship between the ARPANET Telnet and Today's Telnet
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