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[ih] inter-network communication history

Folks, my memory recalls the sacred attribute of end to end.  That is that any device on the Internet could communicate with any other device directly with the aid of intermediate devices that forwarded the packet ?unharmed?. Then NAT came along as a hack for running out of IP addresses in V4...  And other perversions followed...

That is a nerds eye view. Most of the billions of users only see the applications they use and the communities they want to reach. 


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> On Nov 6, 2019, at 4:08 PM, Jack Haverty <jack at 3kitty.org> wrote:
> ?Thanks, Dave.  I agree that users have very different views of "The
> Internet" than us techies.   In talking to non-tech people about The
> Internet, i've found that it means different things to different people,
> based on what they do when "on the net" (i.e., their applications). 
> Some people think the Internet is the Web.  Or Email -- but that may be
> Facebook Messenger to them, not "our" email.  Or Linked-In, etc.  It all
> depends on how they use "The Net".
> The flaw in my definition of computers talking to computers comes from
> the tweaks added to the technology well after TCP/IP itself -- things
> like firewalls, port forwarding, NAT, et al.  When I worked at Oracle,
> we ran our own internet, which had thousands of computers attached that
> could all talk to each other.  But only one of them could talk out to
> the rest of the world. 
> Lots of companies and government entities had a similar setup, with
> application-level gateways (another term to be defined) that provide
> only specific functions, like web access and email (or database access,
> which we created).   I think it all started in the TCP/IP world with the
> "mail gateways" between ARPANET and MILNET.
> So, are those computers and users still all considered part of The
> Internet...even though their computers can't interact with TCP?  
> I think The Internet is really really hard to define.
> /Jack
>> On 11/6/19 1:59 PM, Dave Crocker wrote:
>>> On 11/6/2019 1:48 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
>>> So the definition of "Internet" would be in terms of computers talking
>>> to other computers, and being able to talk to all other computers, once
>>> the appropriate interconnections (gateways/routers) and software were
>>> put in place
>> I think this is quite a good, concise and comprehensive statement of
>> the underlying technical work that created both the current,
>> packet-level capability and the term.
>> My earlier point was that there is also a user-level use of the term
>> that pertains to application level interoperability.  It re-purposes
>> the term Internet to refer to that level (and that history).
>> And there's a lot more of folk using the latter perspective than the
>> former...
>> d/
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