[e2e] the evolution of deployability

David P. Reed dpreed at reed.com
Tue Dec 17 06:15:07 PST 2002

At 09:14 AM 12/16/2002 -0800, Dave Crocker wrote:
>This suggests looking at a number of human-related research areas, both with
>respect to barriers within individuals and barriers within groups.

Dave - your insights seem to me to be "dead on".   I would add one 
additional factor from my experience.

Large vendors tend to interact with the human system in non-positive 
ways.   In particular, product ideas that serve their own interests rather 
than the networks' or the users' are often marketed heavily to the IETF 
constituency.   NAT is a great example.   Vendors M and C (who shall remain 
nameless) got very aggressive in selling NAT, despite its severe design 
limitations and application impact.   They marketed heavily to users and 
IETF a set of solutions that clearly broke end user applications already 
deployed.   At the same time, these two vendors refused to consider an 
incremental migration path to IPv6, arguing that it "wasn't ready 
yet".   The internal politics (including the weak protocol designers who 
have flooded the IETF) could not be organized to do wise things, so they 
responded to these pressures by creating more barriers to deployment.

These players exploited the "human systems" to block deployment of what 
could have been very simple and surgical evolutionary improvement paths.

A collection of children given the world's best scientific instruments are 
not going to invent Quantum Theory.   We shouldn't expect a democratic, 
market-driven mob to invent and deploy major design improvements in the 
Internet by consensus and votes.

RED+ECN is one of the "surgical" improvements that should just happen - no 
flag day is required and every actor can act independently.   It's possible 
to do this change incrementally, and the benefits are dramatic - especially 
because they are compatible with a wide range of protocols beyond the 
TCP-based protocols.   Yet the mob is incapable of even this much 

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