[e2e] Protocols breaking the end-to-end argument

Richard Bennett richard at bennett.com
Sat Oct 24 16:46:42 PDT 2009

As usual, an attempt to discuss ideas in a forum inhabited by David Reed 
quickly becomes an exercise in scurrilous personal attack; my role in 
shaping IEEE 802 standards from 1984 to the present is a matter of 
historical record than be discovered by any conscientious person in a 
matter of minutes.

On the subject of BBN's standing in the early Internet community, I'll 
simply note that the term "Big Bad Neighbor" was a common usage that I 
did not coin myself, and Steve Crocker's comments in RFC 1 had a 
well-understood subtext.


David P. Reed wrote:
> I can't resist commenting on this:
> On 10/24/2009 03:54 PM, Richard Bennett wrote:
>> Like it or not, Noel, there was a lot of friction between the Network 
>> Working Group and BBN over the control BBN had over the ARPANET 
>> protocols inside the IMP. The interesting problems of the day in 
>> protocol design were all behind the curtain to the people who used 
>> the ARPANET, and that's frustrating to engineers. Nobody disagrees 
>> that ARPANET was a huge first step in packet switching; but by 1981, 
>> people were well into the second step, and the closed implementation 
>> of the lower three layers was a problem. 
> This is both irrelevant, and bizarre.  Again, Bennett focuses on 
> imputed motivations to impugn people's professional actions.  There 
> was no friction that mattered - protocols were not designed to carry 
> out "anger".  Since Bennett was not there, I can only assume he is 
> talking to some very angry people who were there.
> In any case, lecturing Noel Chiappa, who has more experience with the 
> Internet and networking by far seems to be an odd thing to try to do.  
> I'd suggest people look at Bennett's resume at 
> http://www.bennett.com/resume.pdf.   You might find his claims that he 
> was responsible for some of the most important IEEE protocols a bit 
> interesting.  I take no position on the claims.

Richard Bennett
Research Fellow
Information Technology and Innovation Foundation
Washington, DC

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