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

Hi Vint et al,

I mispoke if I implied that "no one can define the Internet".  As
DaveC pointed out, it's more that we haven't come to a consensus on
the definition, even within this small community of techies and
historians.  It's so easy to define The Internet that everyone has
their own definition.  To some people, it's the Web.  The under-30
crowd often equates it to Facebook, Twitter, and friends.  To others,
it's everybody accessible by email - many of whom you can't reach by a
TCP connection.  With 2+ billion people reported to now be "on The
Internet", I suspect there's quite a few definitions out there.

I share Vint's view that the Arpanet was not the beginning of the
Internet.  I view The Internet as more of a parasitical beast that
attached itself to the Arpanet, was nurtured by it in its childhood,
and ultimately killed it, just as it did with a bunch of other
networks and technologies.  Other people see it differently.

It might be possible at least to trace the lineage of the phrase "The
Internet".   I wonder if that phrase was ever trademarked or whatever
you do to legally protect such things.  I vaguely recall that ARPA was
at some point thinking about that kind of issue, around the time that
TCP was becoming an official DoD Standard.

There was a meeting, sometime in the late 70s or so, where I
personally think the phrase "The Internet" was first adopted as the
name for the thing we know today.  I recall being at one of the
periodic meetings, probably a TCP Working Group or ICCB meeting -
fewer than 20 people.   Vint had a non-technical agenda item - picking
a name to identify the set of projects that were collaborating to
build the TCP/IP-based world.  At the time, there were lots of
specific projects using TCP/IP to interact, e.g., Packet Radio,
Satnet, Arpanet, etc. etc., and all of the TCP-related work was being
done by people working on one of those projects.  But there was no
name for the collection of projects and the aggregate system being
built.  As I recall, this was causing some confusion as you worked up
the government bureaucracy, which could affect funding, so it was
important to fix.

Vint  proposed the term "Catenet" be used, reflecting the
conCATEnation of NETworks which TCP enabled.  While this didn't quite
elicit boos, the overall reception was pretty negative.  Someone
(Postel?) said it would sound like we were doing research involving
small furry mammals.  After much discussion, no phrasing seemed better
than "Internet", so Vint declared that "The Internet" (or perhaps "The
ARPA Internet") would be the name.  The "Internet Project" maybe
wasn't born that day, but that's when I think it got it's name.  Does
anyone else remember that meeting?

It would be interesting to know if the phrase "The Internet" was ever
legally protected, and by whom.  After the recent discussions about
who invented "Email", nothing would surprise me.  Perhaps Xerox really
did invent "The Internet" according to the legal system.  They did
have a lot of lawyers....

/Jack Haverty

On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 8:46 AM, Vint Cerf <vint at google.com> wrote:
> ARPANET (the subnet of IMPs) did not change when TCP/IP was put into
> the hosts and gateways were  fielded. The Internet persisted after the
> demise of ARPANET, NSFNET, PRNETs, Packet Satellite Net, etc.
> The term "internet" (as opposed to the more general term
> "internetworking") has always been associated with the TCP/IP
> protocols and their associated suite of other protocols.
> ARPANET was not part of an internet until the addition of TCP/IP in
> the hosts and the addition of gateways interconnecting distinctly
> managed "autonomous systems".
> I think it is baloney that "no one can define the Internet"
> v
> On Wed, Jul 25, 2012 at 10:31 AM, Dave Crocker <dhc2 at dcrocker.net> wrote:
>> On 7/23/2012 6:07 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
>>> No one can really define "The Internet".  Or maybe just everyone has
>>> their own idea.
>> There was a discussion on this list some time ago, that converged on a
>> relatively small set of alternative definitions, each with a legitimate
>> rationale, IMO.  People varied in which they preferred.  My feeling is
>> that that's fine, as long as the choice is stated, when declaring when
>> and who invented the net.
>> An incomplete list of the alternatives includes a cross-product of:
>>   * Proposal vs. initial implementation vs. initial operation
>>   * packet-switching vs. heterogeneous comms h/w interconnect vs.
>> heterogeneous administration interconnect
>> The distinction between a category of technology, a particular
>> technology, and a particular service operation also make it worth some
>> notational alternatives such as 'internetworking' vs. "The Internet".
>>> DEC had DECNet.  Novell had Netware.  PTTs had X.25/X.75.  Banyan
>>> did Vines. Apple did Appletalk.  Microsoft joined the fray.   ARPANet
>>> had its own technology.
>> ...
>>> All of those "internets" shared a common characteristic.  Computers,
>>> and applications, could interact in powerful ways - as long as they
>>> all adopted the same candidate technology.
>> Well, several of those connected very different kinds of comms hardware, but
>> yes, they put a layer of service technology on top that homogenized things.
>> I think X.75 was the exception and, in its is way, really did permit
>> Internetworking.
>> Except for X.75, the thing about your list is that each of those had to be
>> run under a homogeneous administration.
>> That's why I prefer to the non-hardware definition of "internetworking" as
>> the inter-connection of networks under independent administration.
>> However I prefer to define "The Internet" as the start of Arpanet operation,
>> since it's been in continuous operation since then, with all of its
>> original, user-level applications still in use.
>> I'm also obviously biased to buttress this view by noting the remarkable
>> similarity between the email messages sent by Tomlinson in 1971 and the core
>> of mail formats we we today.  This end-to-end service orientation prompted
>> RFC 1775, To be "On" the Internet.
>>> Somewhere along that path, over the 30+ years or so of the journey
>>> so far, The Internet was invented.  It's hard to define...the
>> Per the above, I don't think it is hard to define.  There is a relatively
>> small range of credible definitions.  What's difficult is getting everyone
>> to agree on just one.  I suspect it's not that difficult to get agreement on
>> the plausibility of the small range.
>> So the real requirement when discussion the invention is to first state the
>> definition that provides criteria.
>> d/
>> --
>>  Dave Crocker
>>  Brandenburg InternetWorking
>>  bbiw.net