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[ih] Internet addressing history section

> On 14 Feb 2019, at 04:57, Dave Taht <dave at taht.net> wrote:
> I seem to find myself kind of lonely in wanting to discuss the competing
> impact of netbui and ipx/spx before 2004 or so. I can't be the only one
> who's primary intro to networking was via those protocols? They seem to
> get short shrift today....

I?ve been wondering about the this topic for a while, why did tcp/ip win out over ipx/spx. There is probably a multitude of reasons, economic, social and technical. When just looking at the latter my hypothesis is that tcp/ip was the only networking stack in the late 80?s/early 90?s that did well in both WAN and LAN contexts.

As most readers of this list are probably aware, tcp/ip and ipx/spx share early roots: ipx/spx has roots in XNS, which has its roots in PUP. The development of PUP was contemporary with early work on tcp/ip and cyclades and their development seems a little intertwined (as narrated by Bob Taylor here:

The context was different though; my understanding is that whereas the "Xerox team" focussed more on LAN usage, the "Arpa team" was more focussed on wide area usage. This lead for example to PUP and descendants using a different ACK strategy including not having a window concept. These choices seem to have hampered its usage on a WAN later on. Also, tcp/ip developed a set of higher level protocols / tools / institutions to manage a global WAN, whereas competing LAN-focussed technologies did not.

A speculative line of thought is that tcp/ip benefitted a lot from the interaction in the early 80?s between the Arpa community and the Unix community. Whereas the tcp/ip origins were in usage across a variety of WAN technologies, the group at CSRG seems to have had enormous focus on performance over ethernet and token ring LAN technologies. This may have set the scene for developments a decade later.

All the above is hypothesis. I?d be interested to hear from the people that actually made it all happen.