40th Anniversary of R.F.C.

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We be celebrating.

Today is a geek anniversary extravaganza.

TODAY is an important date in the history of the Internet: the 40th anniversary of what is known as the Request for Comments. Outside the technical community, not many people know about the R.F.C.’s, but these humble documents shape the Internet’s inner workings and have played a significant role in its success.

When the R.F.C.’s were born, there wasn’t a World Wide Web. Even by the end of 1969, there was just a rudimentary network linking four computers at four research centers: the University of California, Los Angeles; the Stanford Research Institute; the University of California, Santa Barbara; and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The government financed the network and the hundred or fewer computer scientists who used it. It was such a small community that we all got to know one another.

Read the rest of this historical day at the New York Times in an op-ed written by Stephen Crocker.

H/T Guy Kawasaki via Twitter

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One Comment

  1. James said April 7, 2009 | Permalink

    In honor of this milestone in computer history, let’s look at some of my favorite RFC’s.

    RFC 5335: The official standard for an e-mail address.

    In the book Mastering Regular Expressions, First Edition, the author published his implementation of an e-mail address checker in a single line of code based on RFC 5335. Sure, that “single line” wraps around the screen for the entire page, but it supposedly works.


    RFC 793: Transmission Control Protocol

    Quite possibly, TCP is the most important protocols ever created. Other protocols build on TCP. The RFC page for TCP has this gem:

    “be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.”

    I bet you never thought there would be sage advice buried in computer documentation.


    RFC 2549: Carrier Pigeons

    Not every RFC was written for serious reading. RFC 2549 describes how to transmit data packets via birds and still maintain reliability.


One Tweetback/Trackback

  1. jcchurch (James Church) on April 7, 2009

    Happy Birthday, Request for Comments! http://tinyurl.com/dkwece


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