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ARPA Network protocol notes (RFC0046) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004852D
Original Publication Date: 1970-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-11
Document File: 17 page(s) / 23K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

E. Meyer: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC0046: DOI

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 8% of the total text.

Network Working Group Edwin E. Meyer, Jr. Request for Comments: 46 Massachusetts Institute of Technology 17 April 1970

ARPA Network Protocol Notes

The attached document contains comments and suggestions of the Network Working Group at Project MAC. It is based upon the protocol outlined in NWG/RFC 33, 36, and later documents.

This proposal is intended as a contribution to the dialog leading to a protocol specification to be accepted by the entire Network Working Group.

We solicit your comments.


In this document the Network Working Group at MIT Project MAC suggest modifications and extensions to the protocol specified by Carr, Crocker, and Cerf in a preprint of their 1970 SJCC paper and extended by Crocker in NWG/RFC 36. This document broadly outlines our proposal but does not attempt to be a complete specification. It is intended to be an indication of the type and extent of the protocol we think should be initially implemented.

We agree with the basic concept of simplex communication between sockets having unique identifiers. We propose the implementation of a slightly modified subset of the network commands specified in NWG/RFC36 plus the ERR command as specified by Harslem and Heafner in NWG/RFC 40.

Given the basic objective of getting all ARPA contractors onto the network and talking to each other at the earliest possible date, we think that it is important to implement an initial protocol that is reasonably simple yet extendable while providing for the major initial uses of the network. It should be a simple protocol so as to elicit the broadest possible support and to be easily implementable at all installations with a minimum of added software.

While the protocol will evolve, the fundamentals of a protocol accepted and implemented by all installations are likely to prove very resistant to change. Thus it is very important to make the initial protocol open-ended and flexible. A simple basic protocol is more likely to succeed in this respect than a complicated one. This

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RFC 46 ARPA Network Protocol Notes April 1970

does not preclude the existence of additional layers of protocol between several installations so long as the basic protocol remains supported.

We feel that three facilities must be provided for in the initial protocol:

1. Multi-path communication between two existing processes which know how to connect to each other.

2. A standard way for a process to connect to the logger (logging process at a HOST) at a foreign HOST and request the creation of a user process. (The login ritual may or may not be standardized.)

3. A standard way for a newly created process to initiate pseudo- typewriter communication with the foreign process which requested its creation.

The major differences between the protocol as proposed by Carr, Crocker, and Cerf and this proposal are the following:

1. The dynamic reconnection strategy specified in Crocker’s NWG/RFC 36 is reserved for future implementation. We feel that its inclu...