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RFC 1: Host Software (1969) (ietf.org)
72 points by vages 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments





Darius Kazemi blogged about the first 365 rfcs over a year: https://write.as/365-rfcs/table-of-contents

This isn't the only date that could be considered the "birthday" of the Internet. What about October 29, 1969 or January 1, 1983? Arguably, either the first intersite link, or the first use of TCP/IP on the network, could be considered just as much the birth of the Internet as we know it as the date of RFC1.

Arguably when there was a inter-network link, not inter-host was when the internet was born. But really, like horses, there's no real implications one way or the other.

Make it the start of the Unix epoch.


The early work (including this RFC) was done on 36-bit machines, and no unix machines would be on the net for more than half a decade (and it was at least another decade, and a conversion of the net to IP, before they were a significant number).

So probably not an appropriate choice.


True. RFC 1 is considered the seed of what is now the IETF though.

I've had the honor of working with Steve Crocker on a project years ago. Great guy and still loved to roll up his sleeves and work on problems.


> We propose to implement this solution by creating a language for console control. This language, current named DEL, would be used by subsystem designers to specify what components are needed in a terminal and how the terminal is to respond to inputs from its keyboard, Lincoln Wand, etc. Then, as a part of the initial protocol, the remote HOST would send to the local HOST, the source language text of the program which controls the console. This program would have been by the subsystem designer in DEL, but will be compiled locally.

This bit is interesting. Javascript and AJAX in 1969!


If you're interested in remote (client-based) rendering and I/O (as opposed to TELNET (or these days ssh) where the characters are simply sent across), look at RFC 734. Emacs, and a small number of other programs, used this so that you could do local editing and update to compensate for the slow networks back then. It was also supported by the MIT lisp machines and descendants.

It was actually like a networked channel controller; the latter was mocked by the design of Unix and yet today all IO is done that way.

The author of that RFC was also the author of IMAP.


Thanks, this does look interesting! I find any old ITS-related technical discussions like this (despite it being ostensibly OS-neutral standards language) to be very difficult to pore over. Sometimes I wonder if I'm computer-literate or just Unix-literate! Maybe one of these days I will get ITS running in an emulator and see what I've been missing.

Also the full DEL scheme proposal hinted at in RFC-1 is the subject of RFC-5.

Amusingly, RFC4 is naturally dated a couple weeks earlier than RFC1.

Yep RFC4 is dated 24 March 1969 and whereas RFC1 is dated 7 April 1969.



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