Talk:Internet/Archive 2

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This was the talk page until the page was (temporarily) moved to "Development of the internet"

Peter Schmitt 23:28, 23 September 2009 (UTC)


Definitely not underlinked

Just took a look at "What links here"... ok this definitely isn't underlinked --Eric M Gearhart 09:45, 10 April 2007 (CDT)

Eric, I just added a bit of stuff to the intro, but feel free to mangle it anyhow you see fit. I was just brainstorming.Pat Palmer 22:32, 12 May 2007 (CDT)
Yes the article needs much attention of course... I'd like to start with talking about IMPs and the early DARPAnet and end the history section around the 1990s (when the WWW started getting big). Eric M Gearhart

I think this goes on World_Wide_Web, not here

Someone added this:

The "disruptive technology" and popularity of the Internet has precipitated a paradigm shift in global mass communication much the same as earlier technologies such as the Telephone and American Bell system did, as people around the world can communicate seamlessly over vast distances via many different means. Because of technologies like the Internet, it is said that everyone lives as neighbors in the "global village."

The "internet" is just the network; it grew rather slowly over 20 years. Yes, it was important, but I would not characterize it's advent as "disruptive". The World_Wide_Web, however--HTML, web pages, HTTP and all that--came along in the early 1990's and it certainly was a disruptive technology.

It is a common occurence that people make the shortcut of saying "internet" or "the internet" when they really mean WWW, which is difficult to pronounce. but here, we should be careful to use the precisely correct words. Pat Palmer 13:51, 15 May 2007 (CDT)

Perhaps pedantic, but relevant here as well, is that lower-case "internet" is essentially the Pouzin-Cerf paradigm of generic interconnection of networks, while the upper-case "Internet" is the system of assigned autonomous systems and IP address blocks assigned under IANA authority. Examples of lower-case internets include the secure military networks such as SIPRNET and JWICS, which use exactly the same Internet Protocol and routers as the public Internet, but also have additional security features.


I feel compelled to point out that NIPRNET and SIPRNET - Nonsecure Internet Protocol Routed Network / Secure Internet Protocol Routed Network - simply take their name from the IP in TCP/IP. The entire time in the military we never referred to SIPR as an "internet." I can't be more verbose about more details than that, other than we soldiers had it firmly planted in our minds that SIPRNET was not the Internet in any way, other than it happened to use the same technology as you pointed out Eric M Gearhart 18:33, 13 July 2008 (CDT)
SIPRNET is not "the" public Internet, but it is properly an extranet that uses Internet Ptotocol, IPv4 addresses from the same space as the public Internet, has routers that are essentially identical to routers used in the public Internet, etc. I regard a lower-case internet as an IP-based network,which NIPRNET, SIPRNET, and JWICS all are. That they use link encryptors is invisible to the routers. Howard C. Berkowitz 03:13, 15 July 2008 (CDT)
Even more than the Web, a set of disruptive technologies, much as I hate the term, is "convergence" of data, video, voice, telemetry, imagery, etc., over a common IP infrastructure. That infrastructure can have separate and secure Virtual Private Networks.
Within the Internet operations and standards communities, it sometimes feels as if the antithesis of disruption is desirable. "Just-in-time" inventions have been important, such as Classless Inter-Domain Routing, in the early nineties, where we were about to run out of certain parts of address space, and also that the commercial routers of the time were not growing as fast as the address space. When a private organization contracted to provide a significant part of the DNS infrastructure suddenly disrupted the behavior of DNS in an attempt to improve their profits, the response, to put it mildly, was explosive; I was there at some of the more explosive confrontations.
Many of the connection technologies that physically reach the Internet are disruptive, such as bypassing monopoly telephone wiring with leased optics or wire, satellites, and wireless transmission. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:43, 13 July 2008 (CDT)
I agree completely, and viva la revolucion! Telco companies and those companies that feed off them have two choices: evolve or die. It's market Darwinisim at its best :-) -Eric M Gearhart 19:12, 13 July 2008 (CDT)
Certain telco cable splicers do, however, appear to be the Missing Link. For that matter, I once taught a seminar at British Telecom's training center in Stone, Staffordshire. Outside my classroom window was the lineman training center, where I could watch 48 trainees going up and down telephone poles all day. There was something very Freudian about that. Howard C. Berkowitz 21:11, 13 July 2008 (CDT)

1980-1990; color me confused

Having been there, done that, and have the T-shirt from the Second Annual TCP/IP Interoperability Conference, I'm afraid I needed to correct a few things. The premise of the section lead seemed to be that the Web defines the Internet -- and that's not even true today, especially when looking at things like convergence of communications.

I well remember the first Worm, and, given I have a background in infectious disease, watching with some amusement as some brilliant computer scientists ran about re-inventing epidemiology. Unfortunately, my suggestions about reading John Snow's work from 1854 was not taken seriously. Since my Internet access was cut off until the worm was eradicated, I suppose I felt like the people who were annoyed that they coudn't draw water from the Broad Street Pump. Snow, after establishing this was the source of repeated cholera outbreaks in London, removed the pump's handle when he couldn't get any other action.

Could we talk about the purpose of the list of protocols and programs below? I moved them here because I didn't understand their significance. By far, the most important protocols of the decade were DNS and SMTP. Those search engines weren't too useful, because there wasn't that much random information on the net. There certainly were domain-specific search engines that were used heavily, such as MEDLINE from the National Library of Medicine, RECON at NASA, and, on closed IP networks for the military, quite a few tools. IIRC, if I did any general searching, I used WAIS.

Given that most interfaces were text-based, is there an implication that telnet wasn't useful?

It also should be mentioned that many IP-based protocols were in heavy use, but in local area networks, such as NFS, X/Windows, RPC, etc. Howard C. Berkowitz 17:33, 14 July 2008 (CDT)

Shine on, you crazy Internet diamond. I added that section - you were there, I wasn't :-) -Eric M Gearhart 21:33, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Impact on society

Can I get away with pointing out that teenagers spend too much time on the phone, watching TV, sending text messages, and browsing the web, such that Internet-enabled convergence of communications will allow them to waste time at the speed of light? Howard C. Berkowitz 18:57, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Nope! Hayford Peirce 19:23, 16 July 2008 (CDT)

Definition becoming bloated

Definitions are supposed to be short and snappy. The definition for this article seems to be getting extended. How long until it is as long as the article? --Tom Morris 08:05, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

I'd be delighted to have a shorter, snappier definition, but it has to be one that deals with some of the essential issues most often misunderstood:
  • The Internet is not the Web; the Web is not the Internet
  • You can use Internet technology without connecting to the public Internet
  • The public Internet works, even as a relative anarchy, through cooperative technical agreements and underlying technical mechanisms
Could you suggest an alternative that doesn't continue some of the common misconceptions? Howard C. Berkowitz 10:13, 19 July 2008 (CDT)
I think the current definition works quite satisfactorily. That information can be included in the article. The point of the definition is that it's supposed to provide an extremely succint introduction so that it can appear in Related Articles lists and so on. This will mean that it does not reflect the complexity of the subject. But if someone wants to know more, then they can click through and read the article. The same is true for all short-form writings: headlines, titles, abstracts, slogans, bulletin flashes and so on. Yes, it sucks that it can't be a complex essay delineating the rich structure of the topic. But that's what the article is for. --Tom Morris 10:18, 19 July 2008 (CDT)
I hear your point, and I agree it should be written as tightly as possible. Nevertheless, to take your point about Related Articles, I believe that if the definition conveys that one should read related articles about the Web, and that TCP/IP is just not what runs the Internet (IP, arguably, yes), we accomplish something.Howard C. Berkowitz 10:39, 19 July 2008 (CDT)
I think Tom's shortened definition is fine, and is what, per Larry, a definition is supposed to be. My own feeling is: who hell reads a definition -- it's so hiddened away that it's essentially useless. So I wouldn't worry much about what it actually says. A contrarian view, perhaps.... Hayford Peirce 10:44, 19 July 2008 (CDT)
I do read definitions, but that's because I spend a fair bit of time writing Related Articles subpages, where definitions are used. --Tom Morris 13:26, 19 July 2008 (CDT)

Capitalisation - "internet" vs "Internet"

Whilst it seems to be common to write Internet, with a capital I, internet is a common noun, not a proper noun, and so it should not always have an initial capital. It should be internet. Opinions, anyone? --Caesar Schinas 15:41, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

I deliberately use the capital in specific contexts. First, proper noun is relevant when you think of a technical system that works on principles defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force. I use lower case when the network does use the Internet Protocol Suite but does not connect to the public Internet.
Further, I extend that to speak of the (public) Internet as the set of Autonomous Systems exchanging common routing information via the Border Gateway Protocol. Very early in the discussion, one needs to have a clear understanding of public network, intranet (lower case, but that uses the Internet Protocol Suite) and extranet.
It needs to be clear that the World Wide Web is a subset of the Internet, just as Intellipedia is a subset of a set of secure extranets, both of which use Internet protocols. If, however, you aren't going to talk about common infrastructure, you might want to be talking about the Web, or interconnected email, or torrents, or other application views.
Unfortunately, we didn't retain the term catenet, which would help a lot. A catenet is simply a set of interconnected networks with separate administrations/policies, and is much closer to the concept of a lower-case internet. Historically, catenet was used in at least the ARPANET discussions; the unfortunate Internet-internet distinction came later.
So, Internet here, since it refers to a set of cooperating autonomous systems, presumably under the Domain Name System as well, should be capitalized. SIPRNET is not part of the Internet, but it is a lower-case internet. A corporate IP-based intranet uses "Internet" protocols, but is not part of the Internet, or perhaps has a controlled link to the Internet. Howard C. Berkowitz 16:04, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know very well (I'm a web developer) what the worldwide web (as opposed to the internet) is, what an intranet is, etc, etc.
Perhaps, though, Internet and Web are right - perhaps as you say, they are proper nouns after all.
I've been thinking about it, and it's true that there is only one internet, which I suppose in itself means that it must be a proper noun - like the Earth, the Moon, etc.
Likewise, there's only one web, which would imply the same.
I still hate the initial capital though - especially on Web! ;-p
--Caesar Schinas 16:26, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Serious question: what is your preferred terminology for non-public information sharing that use W3C technical rules, such as Intellipedia? For that matter, there are at least 3 or 4 Intellipedias, not just by security level but participants. Are they Webs? A user siting down at codeword-level Intellipedia is going to have an interaction very similar to someone going to the BBC or CNN site.
I would, incidentally, very much appreciate comment on the top-level Domain Name System article. It's hard to decide how much dual DNS should be in the top article (i.e., an inside namespace not visible to the outside, and maybe the reverse). Howard C. Berkowitz 16:53, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
I hadn't heard of Intellipedia before - but having read the article no, I wouldn't call it it's own web/internet (pluralise as necessary...)
I'd say it probably fits the category of an intranet, or perhaps it's just a private-access website.
(By the way; the Spanish would call it a web! In Spanish the word web is often used to mean website...)
I'm still not happy with Internet and Web. Yes; there's only one internet (IMO). And yes; there's only one web (ditto).
And yes; the one and only Earth has a capital E as I said before. But world doesn't, right? Even if we're talking about the world, not just any old world...
There's arguments both ways, as I see it. But personally, I still like internet best.
Since I am not yet familiar with CZ's article structures, I think I had better not contribute to the DNS page structure discussion, yet! :)
--Caesar Schinas 00:01, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Interesting. Now, I'm a routing-type person, so I wouldn't immediately apply the intranet term to Intellipedia. To me, intranets and extranets are at the routing level, which should be transparent to a web above it. I don't know what actually transports Intellipedia, or actually the several Intellipedias of different security levels, but let me assume JWICS for the high-level one. JWICS, to me, is an extranet, as it interconnects many military and intelligence agencies.
There does seem to be a terminology lack between the internetwork level (Internet/extranet/intranet) and the application level (even public vs. deep web).
To me, internet and Internet are two different things, or, perhaps more properly, "the" Internet is "an" internet. Had the term "catenet" stayed with us, that could reasonably be a lower-case internet. The military NIPRNET and SIPRNET, for example, are huge, are isolated from the public Internet so thus are extranets, but they do strictly use the Internet Protocol Suite. A router doesn't know if it's in the public Internet or SIPRNET; a web server shouldn't know if its connectivity is public or JWICS. Howard C. Berkowitz 00:11, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, yes, extranets. Personally, I tend to think of extranets as being very little different from intranets - a 'shared intranet', if you will. Yes, different, but perhaps a subspecies...
But yes, as you say, (the) Intellipedia(s) must be (an) extranet(s) rather than (an) intranet(s) if various different organisations can access it/them. (Sorry; I'm going to refer to a single Intellipedia from now on just to keep the optional plurals down!)
Yes; I see what you're saying about catenet, and I sort-of agree.
I'm not sure that I can manage the concept of more than one internet, though, any more than I can understand having more than one universe. I mean, universe means everything, right? But no, scientists now think there could be more than one universe. Whatever.
So, my real question is : what's the difference between your "lowercase internet" and an intranet or an extranet?
And don't all intranets use IPS?
Note : I don't see any mention of more than one internet in the main article...
Oh, and even if you want to have multiple internets as children of one parent internet, you've still got my worlds vs the world argument... :-p
As is probably clear from my comments so far, I'm not really hugely knowledgeable in the field of network engineering - I do recognise the fact that you know far more about this subject than me! Sorry if I seem argumentative; I just want to get this straight.
Incidentally, are there any conventions on indenting responses on talk pages, and outdenting them again like you have? Doesn't that put paid to threaded discussions...?
--Caesar Schinas 00:55, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
On indentation, there are conventions, but at some point, the threading becomes unreadable. Options are to start a new subheading, or outdent by at least 2-3 levels so the difference is clear.
Current usage:
  • Internet: IPS using globally routable address space and exchanging reachability information in the public BGP routing environment. By definition, multiple administrations are involved.
  • Intranet: IPS, not reachable (at the routing level) from the Internet, single administration. Address space may be private or global.
  • Extranet: IPS, not reachable from the Internet, interconnect multiple administrations that only speak to each other. To avoid collisions, global address space is desirable but no longer available in IPv4. Organizations, such as the military, which obtained unique address space isn't going to give it up even though it's not Internet-connected, for reasons of maintainability. IPv6 has enough space not to need a reusable private address space.
As far as intranets using IPS, it depends. Let's put it this way -- I wrote my first book in the late nineties, and it was 954 pages just on addressing. Things that connected to the public Internet still might be Apple or Novell or SNA or NetBEUI or a variety of other things on the inside. Things went into transition, and the transmission level moved to IP, but there were still proprietary upper layers -- think Active Directory vs. DNS.
We also are going to have a transitional period, admittedly all IPS, but with IPv4 and IPv6. With IPv4, you also can have private IP addressing space vs. Internet-routable addressing; there are the potential for unique, non-routable addresses in IPv6 as well, but more cleanly than with IPv4 private address space. Things get very ugly when two companies merged, and discovered they used the same private address space.
Even at the application level, though, you don't always one one universal space, for security reasons. Howard C. Berkowitz