The Role of Documentation

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The Role of Documentation

مُساهمة  صمت الحنين في الجمعة ديسمبر 21, 2007 1:26 am

The Role of Documentation
A key to the rapid growth of the Internet has been the free and open access to the basic documents, especially the specifications of the protocols.

The beginnings of the ARPANET and the Internet in the university research community promoted the academic tradition of open publication of ideas and results. However, the normal cycle of traditional academic publication was too formal and too slow for the dynamic exchange of ideas essential to creating networks.

In 1969 a key step was taken by S. Crocker (then at UCLA) in establishing the Request for Comments (or RFC) series of notes. These memos were intended to be an informal fast distribution way to share ideas with other network researchers. At first the RFCs were printed on paper and distributed via snail mail. As the File Transfer Protocol (FTP) came into use, the RFCs were prepared as online files and accessed via FTP. Now, of course, the RFCs are easily accessed via the World Wide Web at dozens of sites around the world. SRI, in its role as Network Information Center, maintained the online directories. Jon Postel acted as RFC Editor as well as managing the centralized administration of required protocol number assignments, roles that he continued to play until his death, October 16, 1998

The effect of the RFCs was to create a positive feedback loop, with ideas or proposals presented in one RFC triggering another RFC with additional ideas, and so on. When some consensus (or a least a consistent set of ideas) had come together a specification document would be prepared. Such a specification would then be used as the base for implementations by the various research teams.

Over time, the RFCs have become more focused on protocol standards (the "official" specifications), though there are still informational RFCs that describe alternate approaches, or provide background information on protocols and engineering issues. The RFCs are now viewed as the "documents of record" in the Internet engineering and standards community.

The open access to the RFCs (for free, if you have any kind of a connection to the Internet) promotes the growth of the Internet because it allows the actual specifications to be used for examples in college classes and by entrepreneurs developing new systems.

Email has been a significant factor in all areas of the Internet, and that is certainly true in the development of protocol specifications, technical standards, and Internet engineering. The very early RFCs often presented a set of ideas developed by the researchers at one location to the rest of the community. After email came into use, the authorship pattern changed - RFCs were presented by joint authors with common view independent of their locations.

The use of specialized email mailing lists has been long used in the development of protocol specifications, and continues to be an important tool. The IETF now has in excess of 75 working groups, each working on a different aspect of Internet engineering. Each of these working groups has a mailing list to discuss one or more draft documents under development. When consensus is reached on a draft document it may be distributed as an RFC.

As the current rapid expansion of the Internet is fueled by the realization of its capability to promote information sharing, we should understand that the network's first role in information sharing was sharing the information about it's own design and operation through the RFC documents. This unique method for evolving new capabilities in the network will continue to be critical to future evolution of the Internet
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صمت الحنين
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عدد الرسائل : 102
تاريخ التسجيل : 17/12/2007

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رد: The Role of Documentation

مُساهمة  صمت القلوب في الجمعة ديسمبر 21, 2007 7:50 am

والله الموضوع ممتاز وأنا ليكون عندك علم إنو انا فاهم عل كلمة ومشكورة عالموضوع


صمت القلوب
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عدد الرسائل : 54
تاريخ التسجيل : 15/12/2007

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