[ih] inter-network communication history
jack at 3kitty.org
Wed Nov 6 16:08:05 PST 2019
Thanks, Dave. I agree that users have very different views of "The
Internet" than us techies. In talking to non-tech people about The
Internet, i've found that it means different things to different people,
based on what they do when "on the net" (i.e., their applications).
Some people think the Internet is the Web. Or Email -- but that may be
Facebook Messenger to them, not "our" email. Or Linked-In, etc. It all
depends on how they use "The Net".
The flaw in my definition of computers talking to computers comes from
the tweaks added to the technology well after TCP/IP itself -- things
like firewalls, port forwarding, NAT, et al. When I worked at Oracle,
we ran our own internet, which had thousands of computers attached that
could all talk to each other. But only one of them could talk out to
the rest of the world.
Lots of companies and government entities had a similar setup, with
application-level gateways (another term to be defined) that provide
only specific functions, like web access and email (or database access,
which we created). I think it all started in the TCP/IP world with the
"mail gateways" between ARPANET and MILNET.
So, are those computers and users still all considered part of The
Internet...even though their computers can't interact with TCP?
I think The Internet is really really hard to define.
On 11/6/19 1:59 PM, Dave Crocker wrote:
> On 11/6/2019 1:48 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
>> So the definition of "Internet" would be in terms of computers talking
>> to other computers, and being able to talk to all other computers, once
>> the appropriate interconnections (gateways/routers) and software were
>> put in place
> I think this is quite a good, concise and comprehensive statement of
> the underlying technical work that created both the current,
> packet-level capability and the term.
> My earlier point was that there is also a user-level use of the term
> that pertains to application level interoperability. It re-purposes
> the term Internet to refer to that level (and that history).
> And there's a lot more of folk using the latter perspective than the
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