At the time email was a special case because it was the *only* application.
In any case, my point was not that we should follow the original
intent of the founders except to the extent that they faced a
particular set of problems and technical and social constraints and
looked for the best ways to solve them. We should certainly understand
why they came to the conclusions they did, but refusing to accept a
particular interpretation of their intent does not make someone
'ignorant' or 'marginally informed'.
On Mon, Aug 30, 2010 at 1:58 PM, Noel Chiappa
> From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <hallam(_at_)gmail(_dot_)com>
> What made the Internet unique was the fact that it was the only
> inter-network that was designed to play nice with other networks that
> existed at the time. You could run DECNET or SNA or anything you chose
> on your campus and still exchange mail with the rest of the world.
> IP to the edge was a special case.
Ah, no. There were eventually tweaks to the _email_ system to enable it to
interoperate with other email systems (others will remember those far better
than I), but that has nothing to do with the network/transport layers. The
vast bulk of the early Internet work was focused on just the people using
TCP/IP - and to run any of that, you needed "IP to the edge". (I am
remembering of the pain we suffered at LCS before we got an IMP port so we
could bring up our first IP gateway to the rest of the world...)
And as for ability to run DECNET and IP on one's campus at the same time as
IP - that was not the original direction taken at many places. Certainly at
MIT we spent (wasted, to be honest) a lot of time trying to create an
underlying data-carriage layer to carry both IP and CHAOS (and other stuff)
before we went with the 'ships in the night' approach, and the multi-protocol
But this is getting a bit off track. If you want to continue, let's move
this to 'internet-history(_at_)postel(_dot_)org'.
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