Learning TCP

Barry Shein (bzs@bu-cs.bu.edu)
Sat, 21 Feb 87 17:19:24 EST

Every so often someone asks for some starting material on Internetworking,
I get asked a lot personally around the University here (esp my students!)

Unfortunately there are several views: How to set up and administer,
how to build one, how to use one, how to get a theoretical and
comparative grasp (eg. a person researching network modeling.)

I don't think there exists any one source for all needs, and not any
real source for some needs. I suggested two just now on this list and
got some flak about one, but none of the flak'ers suggested something
better (does that leave Padlipsky's book as the only source in the
world on understanding TCP? I don't think even he would be comfortable
with that, as much as we both like the book.)

I am not sure why people find the RFCs an uncomfortable place to
start, I assume it is because they (the RFCs) assume you have some
view of the networking milieu (eg. that you intend to build a stream
interface on a packet oriented network, that's not obvious to a
novitiate.) In order to understand a solution a person has to understand
the problem it claims to solve. This can be elusive.

Perhaps, given the relatively recent explosion of TCP/IP (et al) based
networks a new list might be called for aimed at more general
questions, similar to the difference between UNIX-WIZARDS (which is
more like this list) and INFO-UNIX (which might be a new list, INFO-TCP?)

If such a list exists it's interesting that I've never seen it mentioned
here, I'll assume it doesn't exist, I don't see anything in interest-groups.

I don't have the time to organize such a list, nor is it clear I would
be the right person to moderate (if moderation is needed), but perhaps
someone with an interest would step forward.

        -Barry Shein, Boston University

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