[e2e] TCP implementations in various OS's

Lachlan Andrew lachlan.andrew at gmail.com
Tue May 11 18:22:53 PDT 2010

On 12 May 2010 02:33, Detlef Bosau <detlef.bosau at web.de> wrote:
> I'm curious why some people are interested in a big variety of TCP
> implementations and parameter settings.
> Wouldn't it improve compatibility and interoperability if we choose
> algorithms and parameters according to the recommendations given in the RFC?

Greetings Detlef,

If the RFCs were perfect and everyone used the recommended parameters,
then that would give the best system, and be a "Nash equilibrium".
However, if many people already use non-recommended parameters, then
compatibility isn't necessarily maximised by used the recommended

The RFCs' SHOULDs are typically not MUSTs for a reason.  It is
interesting to know which options people choose for many reasons:
1. so that we can "optimise for the common case".
2. many people say "we can't turn on feature X because it breaks
middle boxes", and it is interesting to know which systems actually
work despite having feature X turned on.
3. If an option must be supported by both ends, the current rate of
deployment affects the incremental benefit to one user of turning it

Also, not everyone studying the Internet is trying to design it; there
is value is just understanding how it currently behaves.


Lachlan Andrew  Centre for Advanced Internet Architectures (CAIA)
Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
<http://caia.swin.edu.au/cv/landrew> <http://netlab.caltech.edu/lachlan>
Ph +61 3 9214 4837

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