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[ih] XEROX/PUP and Commercialization (was Re: FYI - Gordon Crovitz/WSJ on "Who Really Invented the Internet?")

    > So, on the XEROX issue. 

I think it's worth noting that some Xerox people have gone on record as
saying their role has been under-represented. See, for instance, "Dealers of
Lightning" (Michael Hiltzik; Harper Collins, 1999), pg. 293:

  Xerox's lawyers ... placed the team on a very short leash. ...
  Nevertheless, they felt a powerful urge to impart their wisdom to their
  friends at ARPA. Thanks to the leagal beagles' strictures, they were
  reduced to getting their points across by a wierd pantomime of asking
  inscrutable but cunningly pointed questions. ...
  Eventually they managed to communicate enough of Pup's architecture for it
  to become a crucial part of the ARPANET standard known as TCP/IP ...
  PARC's contribution is mostly unsung ... Metcalfe, Shoch and the others
  have gotten used to their contribution being minimized unfairly. "The
  TCP/IP guys will never tell you they did this because of Xerox, because
  they don't remember it that way", Shoch said.

Without a lot of investigation, I'm not going to take a detailed position on
the proper apportionment of credit, but I do have a couple of comments.

First, I suspect the International Network Working Group (INWG) of the early
1970s (documented to some degree here:


by Hauben; I don't recall offhand any other good looks at it) was a big
influence on both PUP and TCP/IP - and it rarely gets mentioned either.

Second, I think the PUP guys probably don't get as much credit as they
properly deserve (although I'm not sure they deserve as much credit as the
excerpt above makes it sound like they do), and I personally have always
tried to 'write them in' when talking about the roots of the Internet (see
e.g. here:


for one instance).

As to exactly how much credit the PUP people should get - I will leave that to
others! I suspect that without transcripts of the meetings, we'll never know
for sure, although I'd be curious to hear the reaction of those who were there
(Vint, the MIT Daves, etc) to the Shoch/etc version of things (partiallly
quoted above).