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I'm not convinced you actually want interoperability at all costs in most places.

Just this year I've bumped into two separate security-related networking devices which were stripping out all TCP options except the MSS from the SYN packet [0]. So no window scaling and no selective acknowledgements. This is absolutely crippling to TCP.

In one case the middlebox was next to an FTP server used for transferring huge files all over the world. Just taking that box out of traffic would have given a 5x-10x speedup on those connections. The other was in an LTE core network; in that environment just losing window scaling cuts the maximum throughput to maybe 20Mbps. A bit of a problem when your marketing is promising 100Mbps.

If TCP stacks wouldn't negotiate the connection settings like that, crap like this wouldn't get deployed. It would be obvious that something is horribly wrong. Now they get deployed, and nobody realizes that this particular box is why the network is currently working like crap. (Until somebody looks at a trace of the traffic, and notices that the TCP options are straight from the '80s).

And TCP is supposed to be the canonical success story for Postel's law!

[0] Why would anyone do such a horrible thing? AFAIK in both devices this behavior was linked to SYN-flood protection. So it might have been some kind of a horrible SYN-cookie implementation that could not encode any interesting TCP options.




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