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[ih] That Host-Host Protocol Document No. 1

This is to wrap up the thread for the public record with the results of
an extensive off-list discussion with various people, resulting in the
nice people from the Computer History Museum
(http://www.*computerhistory*.org) digging out the Host-Host Protocol
Document No. 1 (NIC 5143
from their garages and sending me a scan. For the time being I have put
it up at

It turned out that Crocker's "Host-Host Protocol Document #1" (dated
August 3, 1970; also referred to as NIC 5143) was an effort along the
lines laid in RFC 53 (dated June 9, 1970) which tried to establish a
protocol series that would have a slightly more formal feel to it than
the then still very young RFC series. (In fact, NIC published Protocol
Handbooks from 1970 to 1990, all of which are available at the Computer
Museum.) It was, so to speak, the first "official" version of the
protocol that the NCPs at the host sites were to implement. Of course,
the protocol specification changed quite a lot over time, and many early
RFCs commented on "document #1". By early 1971 at the latest, with RFC
107, <http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc107.txt> "document #1" was
officially obsolete. A July 1971 version of the host-host protocol
("Host-Host Protocol for the ARPA Network", NIC 7141) can be found at


Vint Cerf wrote:
> RFC 1 was written to establish the series. We thrashed around with a
> number of ideas in the late 1969 and early 1970 period. NIL, DEL, and
> eventually the H-H protocol. Steve Crocker led that effort and is
> surely the expert on events of the day.
> v
> On Aug 7, 2009, at 5:36 AM, Matthias B?rwolff wrote:
>> Thanks for the hint. But actually I was under strong impression that RFC
>> 1 was just that: a request for comments with more questions and problem
>> statements than bold proposals; and the first go at really specifying a
>> generic host-host protocol happened some time in 1970 rather than early
>> 1969 (when the BBN 1822 report was not even out yet). I took it that the
>> references and discussion in RFC 65 are about this document (which is
>> therein referred to as Host-Host Protocol Document No. 1; and this term
>> is referred to in various other accounts at the time, too, so I was just
>> curious as to what exactly that document was; I frankly doubt it's RFC
>> 1). (I may go and ask Dave Walden or Steve Crocker directly on this.)
>> Randy Bush wrote:
>>>     http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1.txt
>> -- 
>> Matthias B?rwolff
>> www.b?rwolff.de

Matthias B?rwolff