[e2e] end of interest

John Day day at std.com
Fri May 9 10:43:56 PDT 2008


There is nothing wrong with overlays.   I said nothing bad about 
overlays.  But like many things overlays can't turn a sow's ear into 
a silk purse.

What I did imply was it would be a mistake to think that overlays 
could fix fundamental underlying problems.  Microsoft believed (or at 
least seemed to) for some number of years that that they could simply 
overlay windows on DOS.  They finally realized that that was not 
going to work. You can overlay all you want as long as are building 
on a solid base.

In fact, I would even argue that think of overlays as merely an 
*addition* to the architecture is a merely continuing down a blind 

Take care,

At 9:31 -0700 2008/05/09, Joe Touch wrote:
>John Day wrote:
>>At 16:23 -0400 2008/05/08, Craig Partridge wrote:
>>>I don't think it said don't bother touching TCP and below so much as said
>>>they don't matter.  That's certainly what Van said in a more recent talk.
>>>And I think it is right -- if you think you have a game changing paradigm
>>>that can work over existing stuff but might work better over new stuff,
>>>focus on your core idea -- if it works, the rest of the network will
>>>morph to support it.
>>Some time ago, Microsoft had the same idea about dealing with 
>>having half an operating system.  Didn't work for them, not going 
>>to work here.  Overlays are building on sand, or trying to sweep 
>>the mess under the layer.  They can't fix what is fundamentally an 
>>incomplete architecture.
>Does that go for virtual memory too?
>IMO, overlays are as integral to networking as VM is to memory - 
>something we didn't put into the original architecture, but isn't a 
>stop-gap either.
>VM, e.g., was originally to handle memory capacity limits, but has 
>other benefits that persist even when RAM is plentiful:
>	- providing a linear, contiguous memory view to processes
>	- sandboxing processes from each other
>Overlays have very similar benefits to networking. No, they don't 
>fix everything, and some of what they've been used to 'fix' really 
>needs addressing in the underlying network. But that doesn't mean 
>they're not a key part of the solution either.
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