1. 5
  1. 2

    I got an amazing reference from a reader on the narrow waist article [1]. I asked for the origin of the narrow waist idea, and the first 10 minutes of this video have a very convincing story by Internet engineer Van Jacobson.

    Watching NDN’s Waist, 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=69p78tfm29o

    Summary: Jon Postel not only made the analogy, but he did much of the technical work and engineering leadership!

    As designed by Cerf and Kahn, TCP/IP was one protocol. Postel argued for IP to be separated as the narrow waist. And then he spent the next 20 years as RFC editor keeping features out of it.

    This RFC by Cerf confirms Postel’s huge influence!

    I added a second addendum saying this, and I might amplify this more in future posts, since it’s a great story with lessons for modern times:


    The point of the post was that people have to try to design powerful and minimal things – it’s difficult engineering work. And now there is a very concrete story about people who did exactly that!

    Jacobson also mention the vendor lock-in incentive, which is in direct opposition, and is sadly why more people don’t understand this.

    [1] https://lobste.rs/s/o3rjb0/internet_was_designed_with_narrow_waist