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[ih] Who Paid for the Internet? (was Re: sad news: Peter Kirstein)

On Tue, Jan 14, 2020 at 01:03:47AM +0000, Olivier MJ Cr?pin-Leblond wrote:
> Dear Toerless,
> On 13/01/2020 18:35, Toerless Eckert via Internet-history wrote:
> > I forgot the name/number of the EU directive about ISO/OSI Sigh.
> > Was quite a bit of annoyance back in the days.
> it wouldn't be this one, by any chance?
> https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:51995DC0492

I searched yesterday for a bit on that page, but i could not find
what i thought to remember, which was an EU directive, whereas this
is a report, and i also think to remember that the directive was
earlier, maybe 1992 or before. In 1995 indeed as you say, the
battle was over. If i remember, the risk of X.400 adoption also caused
work on MIME, because the main benefit of X.400 over original rfc822
was easier sending/receiving of attachments (without having to become
a geek understanding zip/tar/base64.... And MIME seems to go back
to at least 1992, so initial implementation probably earlier.

But the directive i am thinking of was not necessarily limited to
apps (X.400/X.500) but overall ISO/OSI, including network layer i think,
probably described as "Open Standards" in EU document, hence somewhat
difficult to find.

> The "IMPACT" report, which was so "wise" that it under-estimated the
> Internet - apart from a small one and a half page Chapter 1.5, page 27
> where it mentions its exponential growth whilst at the same time
> pointing out the difficulty to find information and the introduction of
> "Software of varying degrees of sophistication, such as the
> World-Wide-Web and Mosaic..."

Yeah, lots of predecessors to http/html then for at least 5 years.

> There's also a Chapter 4 on EDI - Electronic Data Interchange, which by
> itself wasn't such a bad idea, but the technologies that were proposed
> were ill-suited. And then, there's the "pi?ce de r?sistance", Chapter
> 4.1.2 Electronic Mail which boasts the use of X.400 email. It is obvious
> that the authors had never used X.400.

> Chapter 7.8.1 at least mentions the growth of the Internet but does not
> compare this with the puny numbers using X.400, and I don't expect
> readers of that day to have reached that far down (page 107)

> One additional sad thing is that, as with every Commission project, the
> final document was dated 24 October 1995 and by then, with references
> from 1993 and 1994, a lot of the report was obsolete. And OSI vs. IP
> battle had already tipped to the advantage of IP. FYI Yahoo had been
> created in January 1994. WebCrawler in April 1994. Lycos in May 1994.
> Excite in October 1995. A definition of blindness on the old continent.

Given the average speed of IETF RFC to finalize, we are a bit sitting
in a glass house, throwing stones at other document.

I think the EU learned from the 90th ISO/OSI experience, but
IMHO only to the extend of what people call "lets make new and different

Thanks for the pointers and insights.


> Kindest regards,
> Olivier

tte at cs.fau.de