[ih] what is and isn't the web, was Rise and Fall of the Gopher Protocol

John Day jeanjour at comcast.net
Mon Aug 22 03:32:22 PDT 2016

As far as who was on the Net, the same was true and even more so in 1973, when FTP and the RJE protocols were done.  Yet there, there was very strong arguments that login should be necessary. In fact, as I said, the Multics guys were very insistent on it. They really didn’t like the anonymous login.  

If anything, the reason for not doing it by the time SMTP was done was more the recognition that the process was more like the trusted postman delivering mail (as Dave points out), rather than just anyone.  That sort of discussion had actually taken place when mail was part of FTP.  And of course, we make special accommodation for the postman with a mail slot in the door or a mailbox and a law that makes it very illegal for tampering with the mailbox.

As far as the telephone analogy, the last thing we were trying to do was to be like the telephone system, there was much more talk about modeling things after operating systems. If there were any two things that drew immediate resistance from that early group it was:  this is how telephones work or this is the way IBM does it!! ;-)  Both were considered (for better or worse) prime examples of how to be overly complex.

> On Aug 21, 2016, at 23:28, Paul Vixie <paul at redbarn.org> wrote:
> Ofer Inbar wrote:
>> SMTP and NNTP came with no auth or access control or any sort of
>> security that I recall in the early days, and weren't they both
>> designed consciously and deliberately for a distributed network
>> with independent management of each node?
> at the time smtp was defined, everyone who could make a tcp/ip 
> connection to you was trustworthy. government agencies and contractors 
> including universities. there was no reason to authenticate or secure it 
> at that stage. the idea of netcom or alternet where someone who could 
> make tcp/ip sessions toward your server might have nothing to lose (in 
> terms of their internet access or their government contract) was rarely 
> considered, and when it was considered, one set of folks said it was a 
> bad idea and the network should remain mostly closed, and another set of 
> folks said it was a great idea and we should not make the rest of 
> humanity jump through any special authentication hoops in order to 
> access our services. so, all of us were wrong, about everything, but 
> differently.
> -- 
> P Vixie
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