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

Richard Bennett richard at bennett.com
Wed Oct 28 20:15:48 PDT 2009

I had personally seen the source code to the IBM/Sytek protocols, under 
NDA, for NETBIOS/SMB before RFC 1001/2 were written, which is one reason 
I could only be a cheerleader for 1001/2. At Tandem we implemented an 
SMB server under the T16's Guardian OS. SMB wasn't too hard to reverse 
engineer, as the SAMBA guys found out; the IBM PC Network was harder, so 
we used a PC with both PC Network and Ethernet cards as a bridge.

Dave CROCKER wrote:
> Noel Chiappa wrote:
>> Thereby becoming a perfect illustration of the systems architecture 
>> truism
>> that _interfaces_ between subsystems are far more persistent 
>> (lifetime-wise)
>> than the internals of the subsystem.
>> Other examples of this phenomenon include the RJ-11 phone jack (both
>> physically and electrically), the standard screw-in light bulb socket 
>> (now
>> hosting those fluorescent spiral tube bulbs), etc, etc.
> A particularly fun example of this is RFC 1001/1002, which 
> re-implemented NetBIOS.  Preserve the IBM API, but use TCP protocols.  
> (There had been a couple of proprietary non-IBM TCP versions earlier; 
> this created a standard.)
> Had IBM published the underlying protocols, the TCP version would no 
> doubt have been quite different.
> d/

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

More information about the end2end-interest mailing list