Reed's views, was [e2e] Cannara's views

Craig Partridge craig at
Mon Apr 16 09:31:35 PDT 2001

In message <v04220804b700a4b12128@[]>, John Day writes:

>And when it really comes down to it, do we really think that our 
>brilliant technical insights had anything to do with the success of 
>TCP/IP?  Or did it really have more to do with economics and politics 
>and timing?  A hard look at the events would seem to indicate that 
>things outside the technical had more to do with the current success 
>of the Internet than our technical solutions.

I think it is hard to overstate the importance of TCP/IP's deployment.
It was there, and while there were always worries about how long it
would keep working, you at least knew it had worked so far (often a
concern with the trailing technology, namely OSI) and it was cheap (always
good with the academics who got the ball rolling).

The full impact hit me in the very late 1980s, when basically both
NSFNET and more important, the European research networks, announced
they were using TCP/IP because it was there, known to work, and easy
to get and that they'd transition to OSI when it was ready (which given
their decision, effectively was going to be never).

So in terms economics, politics and timing, I'd say timing was the
big win, economics came second, and the politics third (which isn't
to say there weren't some unpleasant politics, but actually, as things
go, there was rather little).


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