[e2e] Are we doing sliding window in the Internet?

Joe Touch touch at ISI.EDU
Thu Jan 4 07:09:01 PST 2007

Ian McDonald wrote:
>> One would like to think that the last category should require some
>> care and
>> a rigorous process. Is this process not documented or well understood?
>> Surely, it cannot be - implement, deploy, publish paper and write RFC :).
>> What role should the IETF play in this process? Advisory only?
> You'll find that Linux is probably the most RFC compliant
> implementation of TCP. 

Should we include the time when Linux defaulted T/TCP to "on" in that?
Or the default-ON of ABC? I.e., there are certainly points when versions
of Linux were clearly not RFC-compliant in more significant ways; which
version are you referring to?

And *WE* won't find that. If you want to look for evidence of that fact,
then please do. But unfounded assertions do not make it so, nor does
throwing the gauntlet at the rest of the world saying, "if you think
this is wrong, PROVE it".

> However Linux isn't perfect and the developers
> do as they want.

That's clearly true. The good news is that Linux ends up with some of
the earliest versions of new protocols. The bad news is that Linux
sometimes enables things as default that were never intended as such.

> I think the bigger issue is that there are academics in one corner and
> implementors in another and usually they are not the same people and
> often don't even talk to each other.

If I'm the academic in this discussion, note that I have a number of
patches that fixed bugs in FreeBSD. Just because I don't work on Linux
doesn't render me an academic.

However, you're right - we're not all in the same corner. I'm in the
IETF corner, as are developers from other OS's, and right now it seems
like you're representing the Linux community in their corner demanding
that we all come over there for a chat (see below).

> Linux is a meritocracy so if
> people from this list were to go over to the netdev mailing list and
> make a reasonable argument then it will get listened to.

That's the disconnect here. *THE* place for this sort of discussion is
the IETF, which this list is a peripheral (IRTF) party to. Perhaps the
discussion should occur on TSVWG, or even TCPM. But expecting us to take
this to the Linux community is a disconnect on how standards bodies work.

Again, we don't all work on Linux. Linux cannot demand that of the
world. The Linux community needs to participate in the bodies of
standards it uses, and expect that of its developers.

I know of no standards body that sends emissaries to developer
communities (at best, they send emissaries to other standards bodies).
The converse is the way things work; Linux is implementing IETF
protocols, and has an *obligation* to participate in the IETF, where
other communities participate.


Joe Touch
Sr. Network Engineer, USAF TSAT Space Segment

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