[mailhist-discuss] Segments of email history

Dave Crocker dcrocker at gmail.com
Tue Apr 10 07:45:42 PDT 2012

On 4/10/2012 7:34 AM, Craig Partridge wrote:
> I think we're miscommunicating, so let me try again.
> DNS made it possible to adopt hierarchical names in the Internet.  It also
> provided a possible template for hierarchical naming elsewhere.
> The decision by other networks to adopt not just hierarchy but the DNS
> hierarchy, and for the Internet folks to respect subdomains created by
> other networks, made it seamless -- and that was done at a meeting chaired
> by Jake Feinler at SRI in January 1986.  The other networks had to develop
> their own lookup mechanisms internally.
> It was entirely possible, and indeed, gently threatened at that meeting
> that the networks would adopt some other hierarchical scheme.

Well, this definitely underscores the importance of operational choices, as
opposed to technology "invention".

I always highlight a critical contribution of NSFNet as forcing support for
multiple IP backbones (resulting in the creation of BGP).  Prior to NSFNet,
there was officially only the BBN backbone, with tidbits of other unofficial
backbones, but they were supported in an entirely ad hoc manner. NSFNet forced a
serious solution.

While I knew that CSNet was the first time Arpa delegated authority for adding
new sites to the net (albeit through indirect connections, initially) I hadn't
thought about the emerging set of independent email services as composing
multiple backbones that were being integrated.  You reference to "threat"
highlights the reality of this.

What 1-3 word tag would you use for this 'consortium' decision in email history?



  Dave Crocker
  Brandenburg InternetWorking

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