Request For Comments reference guide (RFC1000)
Original Publication Date: 1987-Aug-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Jan-29
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
J.K. Reynolds: AUTHOR [+2]
Abstractimplementation of the protocol known as the Network Control Program. ("NCP" later came to be used as the name for the protocol, but it originally meant the program within the operating system that managed connections. The protocol itself was known blandly only as the host-host protocol.) Along with the basic host-host protocol, we also envisioned a hierarchy of protocols, with Telnet, FTP and some splinter protocols as the first examples. If we had only consulted the ancient mystics, we would have seen immediately that seven layers were required.
Network Working Group J. Reynolds
Request for Comments: 1000 J. Postel
Obsoletes: RFCs 084, 100, 160, 170, 200, 598, 699, 800, 899, 999
THE REQUEST FOR COMMENTS REFERENCE GUIDE
STATUS OF THIS MEMO
This RFC is a reference guide for the Internet community which
summarizes of all the Request for Comments issued between April 1969
and March 1987. This guide also categorizes the RFCs by topic.
This RFC Reference Guide is intended to provide a historical account
by categorizing and summarizing of the Request for Comments numbers 1
through 999 issued between the years 1969-1987. These documents have
been crossed referenced to indicate which RFCs are current, obsolete,
or revised. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
THE ORIGINS OF RFCS - by Stephen D. Crocker
The DDN community now includes hundreds of nodes and thousands of
users, but once it was all a gleam in Larry Roberts' eye. While much
of the development proceeded according to a grand plan, the design of
the protocols and the creation of the RFCs was largely accidental.
The procurement of the ARPANET was initiated in the summer of 1968 --
Remember Vietnam, flower children, etc? There had been prior
experiments at various ARPA sites to link together computer systems,
but this was the first version to explore packet-switching on a grand
scale. ("ARPA" didn't become "DARPA" until 1972.) Unlike most of
the ARPA/IPTO procurements of the day, this was a competitive
procurement. The contract called for four IMPs to be delivered to
UCLA, SRI, UCSB and The University of Utah. These sites were running
a Sigma 7 with the SEX operating system, an SDS 940 with the Genie
operating system, an IBM 360/75 with OS/MVT (or perhaps OS/MFT), and
a DEC PDP-10 with the Tenex operating system. Options existed for
additional nodes if the first experiments were successful. BBN won
the procurement in December 1968, but that gets ahead of this story.
Part of the reason for selecting these four sites was these were
existing ARPA computer science research contractors. The precise
usage of the ARPANET was not spelled out in advance, and the research
community could be counted on to take some initiative. To stimulate
this process, a meeting was called during the summer with
representatives from the selected sites, chaired by Elmer Shapiro
Reynolds & Postel [Page 1]
RFC 1000 - Request for Comments Reference Guide August 1987
from SRI. If memory serves me correctly, Jeff Rulifson came from
SRI, Ron Stoughton from UCSB, Steve Carr from Utah and I came from
UCLA. (Apologies to anyone I've left out; records are inaccessible or
lost at this point.) At this point we knew only that the network was
coming, but the precise details weren't known.
That first meeting was seminal. We had lots of questions -- how IMPs
and hosts would be connected, what hosts would say to each other, and
what applications would be supported. No one had any answers, but
the prospects seemed exciting. We found ourselves imagini...