Re: Port Collisions

Benson I. Margulies (Margulies@SCRC-YUKON.ARPA)
Wed, 14 May 86 14:52 EDT

    Date: Wed, 14 May 86 10:47:27 PDT
    From: (Bob Braden)

    It sounds like another version of the SNA/DECNET free-enterprise protocol

    Do you think we should encourage the proliferation of private protocols,
    many of them doing the same things? It is clearly in the national
    interest (that's us, friends) to promote maximal interconnection of
    heterogeneous systems. That is what standards are for.

Not all protocols are suitable for standardization. Sometimes, there
isn't enough knowledge in the industry to settle on a standard. We
can't be expected to wait around.

Some protocols perform very specific functions that are pointless to
standardize. Heavily networked products are very likely to involve
network protocols that are not useful outside a particular application.
Yet these have to have ports, and those ports can't conflict with other,
interoperating protocols.

    Until recently, in England there were several different standards for
    electric plugs, because each of the 19th century power barons designed
    their own. So you bought an appliance with a cord but no plug on the
    end, and added the plug necessary for your outlet. Rather like a
    configuration file, isn't it?

This is why I'm opposed to the configuration file solution.

    As a customer, do you think I should buy a software system from a vendor
    that did not have the resources to properly document its internal function?
    I wonder what kind of maintenance and support I will get with that product.

The statement `did not have the resources' is not a realistic view. As a
customer, I'd rather my vendor spent their (my) money on supporting me,
not informing the internet community about the network protocols in
their product.

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