I REMEMBER IANA (RFC2468)
Original Publication Date: 1998-Oct-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
A long time ago, in a network, far far away, a great adventure took place!. This memo provides information for the Internet community.
Network Working Group V. Cerf Request for Comments: 2468 MCI Category: Informational October 1998
I REMEMBER IANA
October 17, 1998
Status of this Memo
This memo provides information for the Internet community. It does not specify an Internet standard of any kind. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Copyright (C) The Internet Society (1998). All Rights Reserved.
A long time ago, in a network, far far away, a great adventure took place!
Out of the chaos of new ideas for communication, the experiments, the tentative designs, and crucible of testing, there emerged a cornucopia of networks. Beginning with the ARPANET, an endless stream of networks evolved, and ultimately were interlinked to become the Internet. Someone had to keep track of all the protocols, the identifiers, networks and addresses and ultimately the names of all the things in the networked universe. And someone had to keep track of all the information that erupted with volcanic force from the intensity of the debates and discussions and endless invention that has continued unabated for 30 years. That someone was Jonathan B. Postel, our Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, friend, engineer, confidant, leader, icon, and now, first of the giants to depart from our midst.
Jon, our beloved IANA, is gone. Even as I write these words I cannot quite grasp this stark fact. We had almost lost him once before in 1991. Surely we knew he was at risk as are we all. But he had been our rock, the foundation on which our every web search and email was built, always there to mediate the random dispute, to remind us when our documentation did not do justice to its subject, to make difficult decisions with apparent ease, and to consult when careful consideration was needed. We will survive our loss and we will remember. He has left a monumental legacy for all Internauts to
Cerf Informational [Page 1]
RFC 2468 I REMEMBER IANA October 1998
contemplate. Steadfast service for decades, moving when others seemed paralyzed, always finding the right course in a complex minefield of technical and sometimes political obstacles.
Jon and I went to the same high school, Van Nuys High, in the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles. But we were in different classes and I really didn’t know him then. Our real meeting came at UCLA when we became a part of a group of graduate students working for Professor Leonard Kleinrock on the ARPANET project. Steve Crocker was another of the Van Nuys crowd who was part of the team and led the development of the first host-host protocols for the ARPANET. When Steve invented the idea of the Request for Comments series, Jon became the instant editor. When we needed to keep track of all the hosts and protocol identifiers, Jon volunteered to be the Numbers Czar and later the IANA once the Internet was in place.
Jon was a founding member of the Internet Architecture Board and served continuously from its founding to the present. He was the FIRST indiv...