[ih] IEN's as txt

Paul Ruizendaal pnr at planet.nl
Fri Feb 10 04:23:45 PST 2017

Many thanks to all for your input. It already gives me a lot
to digest.

I understand that I won't find much rationale in the IEN/RFC
docs, but at least I can trace that way what the changes were
and how this affected the various code bases.


One fool can ask more questions than a thousand wise men can
answer, so here are some other things that puzzle me:

- The specs and implementations of 1978/9 don't interoperate (I
think) with those from 1981, not at the IP level and not at the
TCP level. Why were the protocol numbers never bumped?

- I believe BBN got the contracts for reference implementations
in the last quarter of 1980 and that work started immediately.
Was there a sense in late 1980 that the specs were already final?

- I think the flag day decision must informally have been taken
in the summer of 1981, allowing time for it to travel up and
down the chain of command and be formally declared in November.
The specs were still changing as late as April, and as Jack said
that was in response to bugs creeping out of the woodwork.
What gave the comfort to declare TCP ready for use and that the
changes were all done? Or was it simply that it could not be
postponed further without loss of credibility or some such?

- As I understand, in November 1981 there was not a single
production quality implementation of the April specs ready.
Is that correct and if so, were the spec's simply frozen for
a while to allow/force implementations to catch up?

- The post flag-day part of Mike Muuss' tcp-ip digest seems to
be mostly concerned with routing problems, even more so when the
MILNET split happened soon after. Noel's message on GGP and
ICMP suggests that this was foreseen. Is that correct or are
these issues unrelated?

On 10 Feb 2017, at 1:02 , Paul Ruizendaal wrote:

> My underlying motive for this is to understand the changes to
> TCP (and IP/ICMP/UDP) in the 1978-1981 time frame, and diff's
> of the IEN's and RFC's would help. Perhaps this analysis has
> already been done?
> One thing that surprised me is that the closing mechanics in the
> TCP state diagram kept changing until very late. Perhaps it
> was just a matter of ever more precise specification, but if it
> was conceptual change it would seem odd that it did not show up
> earlier in the testing process and 'bake offs'.
> Same goes for ICMP: it was a late arrival and the rationale for
> abandoning the earlier approach is not entirely clear.
> Paul

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