[e2e] Google seeks to tweak TCP

Craig Partridge craig at aland.bbn.com
Mon Feb 6 12:57:06 PST 2012

> > We're deviating from E2E to history but I think this point
> > matters, so
> > a brief comment from one of the IETF founders.  We were
> > never told to go
> > through ISO.  But the broad issue of speed is entirely
> > right.  IETF was
> > a split off from INARCH (the Internet Architecture Task
> > Force) and was
> > motivated by a bunch of folks, largely ISPs and campus
> > network operators,
> > who desperately needed a bunch of nitty-gritty operational
> > problems solved
> > and documented -- problems that seemed to be falling through
> > the cracks
> > between the various Internet Task Forces of the time (there
> > were several).
> > As a result, the mode of operation was "find a working
> > solution, document it in an RFC, and move to the next
> > problem."
> > 
> > Note that most TCP work was NOT done in IETF but was done in
> > the End-to-End
> > Task Force (which created this mailing list).
> > 
> This is pretty interesting, but, I had better get back to work ;^)
> BTW...Is this history recorded anywhere besides in your memories?

Not that I'm aware of.  On my (long) queue of things I'd like to do is
write up a history of what I call the Internet's adolescence -- from
about 1987 to 1997 -- which would cover the evolution of the IETF, etc.
I do have many of the relevant emails still stashed in my folders and
you can extract some of this from the early IETF minutes on ietf.org

> > Always a killer problem -- indeed, within a few years of the
> > IETF getting
> > going, Steve Crocker (an IESG member) noted we were
> > beginning to develop the
> > processes that tend to stymie standards organizations such
> > as the ability
> > to appeal decisions and copious mechansisms to ensure
> > fairness over
> > effectiveness.  These, incidentally, were in response
> > to the arrival of
> > corporate representatives at IETF -- in the early years,
> > folks showed up
> > to solve problems and didn't worry if the solution was
> > optimal vis-a-vis
> > their corporate market strategy.
> > 
> > Thanks!
> > 
> > Craig
> > 
> Hmmmm, so let me see if I understand what happened.  The End-to-End Task Forc
> e was created to speed up the process, then over time in response to the infl
> ux of corporate interests developed methods that slow it back down?

The IETF, not End-to-End TF.  (End-to-End was created in 1983 to deal with
transport protocol issues for the Internet -- in the mid-1990s this was
made a mostly IETF Problem and the End-to-END TF was made the End-to-End
Research Group).

But the gist is right -- I'd restate slightly:

    The IETF was created to speed up the resolution of Internet operations
    and standards issues.  Over time, the IETF found that its time to
    react was slowed by the need, often in response to people representing
    corporate interests, to create additional processes before a standard
    could be approved.

> (Sorry for the oversimplification.  I hate to gloss over decades of history i
> n one or two sentences, but, I really do have to finish preparing homework fo
> r my students)
> I think that the point is important too.  The corporate interests are not goi
> ng to go away and they are not going to suddenly become altruistic (except as
>  it agrees with the bottom line).    They are doing what they are supposed to
>  do and that is that.
> This begs for a solution that is both fair enough to weigh the needs of all t
> he different players, but, still fast enough to keep new minds from growing f
> rustrated and deciding to do something else less political ;^)
> A KILLER problem indeed ;^)
> This is really interesting.  How would I find out more about the process and 
> history?  Do I just have to sit on this list and wait for the story to work i
> t's way to light?

You can sort of work it out by reading thousands of pages of IETF
minutes and relevant RFCs.   For instance, see how the IETF had to
develop rules for incorporating intellectual property in IETF standards.



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