[e2e] It's all my fault

Greg Skinner gds at best.com
Mon May 14 23:57:57 PDT 2007

On Tue, May 15, 2007 at 02:41:29AM +0200, Detlef Bosau wrote:
> As you say: _Actually_. And in case of all servers being connected to 
> the Internet. It´s not that long ago that I had only usenet access via 
> uucp and therefore, anything worked with good ol´ bang paths. For both 
> purposes, routing to the correct "rnews" node you want to send your news 
> to and avoiding cycles / "backward flooding" as well.

Hmmm ... I'm not aware of people commonly using source routing to get
their news posted at a news server of their choice.  While I suppose
it was theoretically possible (if one had permission to execute uux
directly), it would defeat the purpose of having the articles
distributed to all of the intermediate news servers along the path
(assuming they ran usenet news).  And the articles from the receiving
news site would eventually make their way back along the source-routed
path, thus wasting the initial uux.

OTOH, anyone with access to a mail UA could specify their own path for
their mail, even paths that were not the result of the distribution of
usenet articles.  Those individuals who had knowledge of uucp topology
could often find better paths than those the usenet articles took.
(In some cases, uucp paths existed that did not also involve usenet
news transfer.)

The path rewriting of pathalias actually served as a traffic
engineering aid, rather than as a means of circumventing policy.
Usenet neighbors tended to be chosen for reasons of convenience,
rather than as a result of careful engineering.  Pathalias actually
reduced the overall number of hops email took between uucp nodes, and
made reasonable attempts to use the best performance paths.  Some of
those best performance paths went via the old ARPAnet, which was a
controversial subject at the time, especially among site managers who
were concerned that such "transit" was in violation of their ARPAnet
authorization.  Paths that performed less well might also have
transited the old ARPAnet, as there were ARPAnet sites who remotely
executed rnews over TCP connections.  (And eventually uucp was
rewritten to use TCP connections.) 


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