Network meeting report
RFC 77

Document Type RFC - Unknown (November 1970; No errata)
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          J. Postel
Request for Comments: 77                                            UCLA
NIC 5604                                                20 November 1970

                         Network Meeting Report

This is a report on a series of three Network Working Group meetings at
the Fall Joint Computer Conference, November 16, 17 and 18 in Houston,
Texas.  The meeting will be lumped together and ideas may or may not be
identified as to their originator.  The meetings were chaired by Steve
Crocker.

The meetings began with a listing of topics of concern.

1) A site or group should be designated as protocol testers.  As NCP's
   are implemented they should be subjected to comprehensive testing by
   an independent group.

2) The Host-Host protocol needs reworking in several areas: error
   control, overload conditions, allocation of resources, status
   information, and system crash problems.

3) The immediate need for specification of TELNET, the third level
   program which allows people to pass through their local hosts and use
   remote hosts.  TELNET must provide facilities to log in at a distant
   site, run programs, transmit files, and call for help.  This call for
   help is likely to mean getting a systems programmer at the remote
   site "taking control" of the user console.

4) The documentation of systems on the network must become available to
   all sites.  This is to be done by the NIC with the cooperation of the
   other sites.  Particularly useful will be on-line documentation.  It
   is suggested that each site have an identical hard copy device (e.g.
   a line printer) suitable for reproducing documents.

5) The use of graphics consoles on the network will require a graphics
   protocol.  People interested in this problem should write position
   papers on such a protocol.  A meeting may be held between the authors
   of such papers if sufficient interest develops.  The papers should be
   distributed as NWG/RFC's before 1 January 71.

6) Some sites must account for use of their computer resources, thus
   there must be some network accounting scheme.  Sites can be
   categorized as Research Centers vs. Service Centers.  The Service
   centers tend to have big machines, lots of users, and accounting
   problems; while the Research Centers tend to have specialized
   hardware, a small number of users, and no accounting at all.

J. Postel                                                       [Page 1]
RFC 77                   Network Meeting Report         20 November 1970

7) Some people are interested in the network as an object of study.  In
   particular UCLA-Computer Science, and BBN wish to perform
   measurements on the network.  Is it appropriate to ask the NCP to
   keep statistics?

After this opening some discussion followed.

It was generally felt that changes to the protocol should be made in
bunches and at about six-month intervals rather than a continuous stream
of small changes.  Also that a lead time of three months was not over
optimistic.  The proposed change to the IMP-Host protocol to get rid of
marking was generally approved but it will not be implemented for some
time since casual changes to the protocol are undesirable.  Tom
O'Sullivan suggested that perhaps new and old protocols could work
together, that is the new protocol would support the old one as well as
provide better mechanisms where possible.  Steve Crocker suggested that
a new protocol might be developed as a private experimental protocol
between two or three sites.

It was stressed that it is necessary that the network be used to gain
experience, and that we should get teletype-like console use of remote
systems going before we get too involved in graphics.  Perhaps the
graphics protocol should be developed by a different set of people.  The
scheduling of a graphics protocol meeting was thus discouraged, but
papers should still be written.  Strong feelings were expressed in
favour of first developing use of remote subsystems and file
transmission instead of worrying about graphics at this stage.  It was
suggested that development of protocols at the higher levels be driven
by applications.

Documentation will be a major concern for network users.  Several people
mentioned that users at their sites have already begun to inquire about
the network.  As Eric Harslem put it "What does the ARPA Network have to
offer?"  Some sites (Multics, SRI) keep system documentation on-line.
It was suggested that the trillion bit store be used to keep on-line
documentation of all systems.

At this point Doug Engelbart gave a presentation on the Network
Information Center (NIC).  The goals or services of NIC have not been
well defined by anyone and have been left up to NIC to define.  NIC has
decided that one urgent task is to make information about the network
and the host systems on the network available to users of the network.
Doug has found that some people feel threatened by the revelation of
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