[ih] Why TCP?

Jack Haverty jack at 3kitty.org
Wed Aug 31 17:25:27 PDT 2016

Everyone on the planet owes you and Bob their gratitude for this 
decision.  Or perhaps, in Internet tradition, a beer.  (Well, OK, a nice 

I know there are some actual historians monitoring this list, and 
probably more in the future.  Lots of choices and decisions are to be 
captured for the historical record.  IMHO, this was one of the most 
important decisions ever in creating The Internet.  Please, historians, 
capture it in the history books.   If you're looking for milestones, 
this was a big one.

TCP/IP technology is fine, but there were numerous other ways to define 
the technical mechanisms that could have evolved into The Internet.  The 
people driving all those technologies had to make a similar decision.

They all made the wrong choice, and their technologies have all but 
disappeared.   You and Bob made the right one.

Thanks for making us not have to suffer through endless chaotic decades 
of struggling to get one computer to talk to another.

Even my new attic fan has an IP address.....


On 08/31/2016 04:39 PM, Vint Cerf wrote:
> Bob Kahn and I made that decision.
> v
> On Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 7:29 PM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org
> <mailto:jack at 3kitty.org>> wrote:
>     Hi Vint,
>     Wow, a great list of names from the early days.  I know they all
>     supported the ARPANET and Internet, especially by directing funding
>     in the right direction.   But I was curious about who made the
>     decision to make all of the work open and freely available.
>     There were several companies and organizations back in the 80s
>     developing their own way of interconnecting networks - Xerox, IBM,
>     Novell, Banyan, etc.  As far as I remember, all of them made it
>     difficult for others to use or evolve their technology, with various
>     techniques of secrecy, patents, licenses, etc.  They naturally
>     wanted to protect their investment and competitive advantage.
>     The government, and especially the military, with its understandable
>     tendency to keep things secret, usually had such work also kept even
>     more private for all sorts of reasons.   Development plans of a new
>     fighter jet, or the specifications of the capabilities of a new
>     tank, and other such technology infrastructure work, was (I think)
>     usually kept very secret.
>     But in the case of computer networking technology, the work we now
>     know as The Internet was (mostly) done in a very open and
>     collaborative fashion, much more so than any company or organization
>     I can remember.
>     I have for a long time wondered who made that decision...IMHO it
>     made a huge difference.  I've also wondered if they, or their
>     successors, now regret it.
>     IMHO, networking technology has started regressing from that
>     openness. Protocols are less open (so how exactly does
>     Netflix/whatever work...?)  Core functions are no longer universal
>     and compatible (so many different ways to send messages inside
>     various closed gardens of Social Media).  Etc. Etc.
>     It's interesting to look back at the 40 years or so of networks, but
>     it's hard to see where it's going, and how the loss of openness will
>     affect things.  But that's for internet-future, not internet-history.
>     /Jack
>     On 08/31/2016 03:35 PM, Vint Cerf wrote:
>         On Wed, Aug 31, 2016 at 5:43 PM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org
>         <mailto:jack at 3kitty.org>
>         <mailto:jack at 3kitty.org <mailto:jack at 3kitty.org>>> wrote:
>             Someone (I wish I knew who) made the decision to do all of
>         this work,
>             and spend all of that money, in an open environment, and
>         make the
>             technology freely available and standardized for anyone to
>         use.  None of
>             the competing Internet architectures (Xerox, Novell, DEC,
>         IBM, ISO,
>             etc.) did that.  So when the rest of the world discovered
>         that the
>             military TCP/IP technology not only worked but also could
>         solve their
>             problems, the ascension of the Internet was natural.
>         Bob Kahn, Larry Roberts and Dave Russell are probably the
>         closest to the
>         deciding parties
>         at the IPTO level but one has to credit George Heilmeier and Steve
>         Lukasic as DARPA
>         Directors for their strong support for ARPANET and then Internet.
>         v
>         --
>         New postal address:
>         Google
>         1875 Explorer Street, 10th Floor
>         Reston, VA 20190
> --
> New postal address:
> Google
> 1875 Explorer Street, 10th Floor
> Reston, VA 20190

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