[e2e] Nature mag, DARPA, and the Internet

Dave Crocker dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Fri Aug 8 16:19:03 PDT 2003


TPSHO> mentions "many credit the agency with developing the Internet" and an
TPSHO> editorial "In Defence of DARPA", mentioning that among its payoffs are
TPSHO> "a host of critical Internet technologies."  I assume the magazine
TPSHO> means well, but this lukewarm referral to DARPA's role seems to show
TPSHO> that those who do not know history are designated to rewrite it.

Not that the press has a very good track-record of getting technical
matters (or history) very accurate, there is a reasonable basis for
giving Darpa less than 100% of the credit:

NSFNet forced a multi-backbone core and created a set of pre-ISP
organizations -- the real-world importance of both these enhancements
was massive.

Search engines and the Web came from non-Arpa work. In fact, after the
initial burst of apps work in the early 70s, I believe there were no
successful, new applications that came out of the Darpa community.

So, Darpa did the packet-related work and one or two of the core
applications. But taken on their own, they are not sufficient for the
phenomenon most folks think of, when they say "Internet".

 Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at brandenburg.com>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <http://www.brandenburg.com>
 Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>, <fax:+1.866.358.5301>

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