Talk:Ping (networking utility)

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Move book?[edit]

I don't think the comment about the childrens book supplies any information to the wiki besides the fact that the book exists. Could we move this information to a seperate page? Hopefully then at least it might be developed beyond the stubby link. Is Ping (Literature) accepatable? MB 21:23 16 May 2003 (UTC)

When we have any info, it can be put at The Story of Ping - but we should have a link from here to there so anyone coming here in search of info about the book can be directed there. Or so I feel. Martin

ping is an acronym?[edit]

Mike Muuss wrote the program in December, 1983. From his home page:

"I named it after the sound that a sonar makes, inspired by the whole principle of echo-location."


"From my point of view PING is not an acronym standing for Packet InterNet Grouper, it's a sonar analogy."

_Many_ technical exams and such refer to ping as an acronym (Packet INternet Groper, so not even the most correct of them), rather than the actual correct meaning (like Sonar).

I really don't feel anyone has the right to change the meaning of the authors name for the application and I feel that the acronyms for the application should be viewed as an incorrect misconception rather than an acceptable definition. milliamp

This may be a case of creating a backronym. People desire the 'reason' for a name and sometimes make up answers. See the article on the computer language Perl for a more explicit example of a backronym. Shenme 18:44, 18 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for including that quote from Muuss. I've got a technical manual from Cisco that refers to the acronym ( ), but I now share your point of view on this.

Don't forget Muuss's next sentence: "From my point of view PING is not an acronym standing for Packet InterNet Grouper, it's a sonar analogy. However, I've heard second-hand that Dave Mills offered this expansion of the name, so perhaps we're both right." I feel that both definitions should be at least being included with the original authors meaning being the primary.

Yes, Even I think so, that both the acronyms should be included with their original authors. I did make a mistake of connecting "grouper" fish with australian coast. But apart from that "Packet Internet Grouper" should also be present here explaining which is what, and thus, clearing understanding of this knowledge for a lay student. Also supported by other sites:
And there is even a Wikipedia page named "Packet Internet Grouper" which, when searched, redirects here. So, there should be a mention from where this terminology has emerged and why.. along with the original one.

--Aaniya B (talk) 15:08, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

  • Hello there! Just as a note, having a redirect page pointing here doesn't mean anything by itself. We'd need some good references in order to conclude "ping" actually has something to do with Packet Internet Grouper. Actually, what would "Packet Internet Grouper" mean? Sorry, but to me, it's meaningless. — Dsimic (talk) 18:56, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

Spelling of PING acronym[edit]

Ref the recent rollback (WP:AGF) that I did. It's not a matter of spelling Grouper vs Groper, please read the reference. It's spelt as the author in the reference spells it. Lantrix //Talk//Contrib// 05:44, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

The reference spells it groper, not grouper. Kbrose (talk) 06:06, 8 September 2010 (UTC) ::Ok, I see where it is spelled grouper by the author ping, but that is obviously a misspelling, nobody ever called it that--what sense would that make?-- but 'groper' as also stated in the same page. Kbrose (talk) 06:20, 8 September 2010 (UTC) (edit conflict)
I dont want a RV war :-) as I'm reading it different. Go to the article linked in Reference 1, and in the 8th Paragraph of the document written by mike (not the comments from other people) I'll copy/paste, with only the spelling in question emphasised:
From my point of view PING is not an acronym standing for Packet InterNet Grouper, it's a sonar analogy. However, I've heard second-hand that Dave Mills offered this expansion of the name, so perhaps we're both right. Sheesh, and I thought the government was bad about expanding acronyms! :-)
What reference are you referring to with the spelling Groper, the book in reference 2? Lantrix //Talk//Contrib// 06:17, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
In my IT circles, I'd heard it called "Packet InterNet Grope", so who's to say what version is correct? It's a hard call. Typing groper and after the O, ones finger is moving towards the P, not away from it, and the U isn't directly next to the O or the P :-). So we should either spell it as the original author of the reference document did, mistake or not since wikipedia is not about speculation, or we should remove the "Note" and just leave in the exact quote of the reference text the citation/reference. Lantrix //Talk//Contrib// 06:51, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
Whether it's 'grope' or 'groper' is rather irrelevant, as it is at least the same meaning, the same base verb. But the common misinterpretation was 'groper', copied from the 'dig' origin. It's actually completely irrelevant just what the author dispelled, since he explicitly stated the true origin of the term. Thereby he discredited ANY other interpretation. Frankly, I don't believe this should even be mentioned. We should simply specify what the author intended with the name and provide a reference to that effect. There is no reason to pick out any one particular aberration of misconception and give it prominence. Kbrose (talk) 15:34, 8 September 2010 (UTC)
So we actually agree - It need not be mentioned, but it's useful to leave the reference and the citation with it's quote. I've removed the note. Lantrix //Talk//Contrib// 04:40, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Hmm. I find false etymologies really annoying, so I'd like to debunk this one, but as briefly as possible. So I've just changed the 1st para of the "History" section to this:

The ping utility was created by Mike Muuss in December 1983 as a tool to troubleshoot problems in an IP network. "Ping" is not, as is sometimes said, an acronym for "Packet InterNet Groper"; it is in fact named after the sound pulses of active sonar, which also involves sending a signal and measuring the time until any echo is received.

(BTW, this is 4 words shorter than the previous version of the para, which did not mention the acronym.) This version handles the which-acronym-to-debunk problem by only mentioning one, qualified by "sometimes".

Another approach is not not specify any acronym, like this:

The ping utility was created by Mike Muuss in December 1983 as a tool to troubleshoot problems in an IP network. "Ping" is sometimes said to be an acronym but the name is in fact taken from sonar terminology — like active sonar, ping sends a signal and measures the time until any echo is received.

(This is 6 words shorter than the version I put in the article.)

If other editors would rather not mention the acronym at all, I'll accept that. But I really dislike false etymologies, so I thought I'd make an effort to combat this one via this article. What do other contributors think? CWC 18:27, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

There is nothing false about stating the correct origin of the name, while providing a source. What is false is giving the impression that the interpretation of ping as an acronym is credible or common-place, it isn't even intuitive such that a novice reader would suspect another origin. No text book, encyclopedia, etc. prominently mentions misconceptions that are far-fetched next to the correct presentation to dispel them. Why you would reintroduce this language into the article and call for another opinion after the above discussion is puzzling. Kbrose (talk) 19:35, 17 September 2010 (UTC)
Well, I was gently disagreeing with the preceding discussion. My concern comes from my personal dislike of false etymologies and having encountered the wrong explanation of the name once too often. As it happens, there are quite a few Wikipedia articles that debunk common false etymologies (eg., brass monkey (colloquial expression) — see false etymology for lots more). But none of this is all that important, and I won't re-insert any mention of the false acronym. OTOH, I have just shortened the explanation of the analogy with active sonar. Cheers, CWC 03:14, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
No problem with that, it was not exactly elegant. Kbrose (talk) 03:58, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
I like that as well. Good call, and thanks for the extensive discussion. Lantrix //Talk//Contrib// 07:52, 24 September 2010 (UTC)
I don't follow the history section at all. The verb PING (as in to do PING) is way older than the BSD 4.2a utility (as in ping(8)). The listing of the DCN user process PING, which predates BSD ping by at least 1/2 a decade, starts with:
; P i n g - packet inter net groper
; This program is an internet pinger and sounder. it zings packets
; To various unsuspecting gateways and hosts and collects statistics
; To embarass the implementers.

Why all the concern for the etymology of the half baked (it only does echo requests, no replies) BSD utility from 1984 while Multics and DCN boxen were doing PING back in 1980 and maybe even earlyer? (talk) 23:45, 8 November 2011 (UTC)

Having heard the word "ping" used conversationally by a reasonably nontechnical nurse, I was motivated to check if the word was, as I was taught, an acronym. I was very disappointed that I could not find an answer in Wikipedia. When I remembered to check the talk page I found this discussion which provided me with an unexpected answer. My thanks to those who documented this issue, and to those who fought to remove this information from the page: you are reducing the value of Wikipedia as a reliable source of knowledge. (talk) 02:01, 17 September 2013 (UTC)

Why does the section "Other types of pinging" exist?[edit]

There is an actual article for Ping_(video_gaming) and the disambiguation page is quite good in listing out all the different uses of ping. What's the rationale behind this section? – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 21:28, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Yes, ... long-standing issue. Like this week, people kept adding other pings and those were collected in that section at one time. Really doesn't belong here. Kbrose (talk) 01:54, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
In that case, I will be WP:BOLD and remove it for now, while moving the mention of the MH370 incident to a "Notable uses of ping" section. – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 04:45, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I'm concerned that the new section violates WP:TRIVIA but I will leave it there for now, since other editors seemed to have deemed the MH370 information worth keeping. – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 04:56, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Well, I agree with your concern. The content of your new section could also be greatly debated whether it constitutes an analogy or not, or why it is that much different from the other case we had. From what I understand those pings are not just echo replies, but active signals from the aircraft. Kbrose (talk) 05:40, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
The line I'm basing the analogy on is this "A Ping is a quite common term for IT Networking. It refers to a utility used to test the reachability of a host on an IP network and measure the round-trip time (RTT) of the packets even if it is more frequently associated to the data messages themselves, or “pings”." Does that seem like a reasonable interpretation? – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 05:49, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I think the article would be better off without that section. Other pings got added when the page title was simply 'ping', IIRC. Since it has been renamed with the disambiguation (networking utility), that should keep people from adding other pings, however, if we have a section, it's once again inviting to add more. Kbrose (talk) 05:50, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Addendum: the following paragraph is more explicit: "Similarly to what happens on a Local Area Network, satellites send pings (once a hour) to their receiving peers that respond to it thus signaling their network presence." – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 05:52, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
In this case it's not that the satellite is sending pings, but the aircraft is sending them, the satellite just happens to listen to everything and records that. So it is not an echo reply like the workings of the networking utility. There are other transponders on an aircraft that do reply on radar pings, but those were apparently turned off. Kbrose (talk) 05:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
I believe the article says that the satellite sends them first "Similarly to what happens on a Local Area Network, satellites send pings (once a hour) to their receiving peers that respond to it thus signaling their network presence," so in that sense it is just ping, but instead of on an IP network, a SATCOM network. ACARS was turned off, but the underlying protocol, SATCOM was not. I think ACARS is some sort of software that uses SATCOM to communicate. Feel free to delete if you don't think it's notable enough for the bottom of the article. – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 06:01, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, it's more complex than I thought, I am finding out, and that makes the inclusion even more dubious. I'll sleep on it for a day... Kbrose (talk) 06:11, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
For now, I've put an off topic tag on it. Good night, and thanks for your support! – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 06:24, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Hello there! I'm really sorry, but "Notable uses of ping" section looked almost like a joke, so I went ahead WP:BOLDly and deleted it while preserving its references as two external links. However, I'm not sure that those even deserve to remain as external links, as they're talking about using the Doppler effect and such stuff. If we'd go so far in generalizing ping, then we can also include more stuff related to submarines and their sonar pings. :) Hope you agree. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 07:26, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Yep, it's all good! The MH370 stuff was left over from the deletion of the "Other uses of pinging" section which sounded almost as ridiculous. I fixed it and left it there because I wasn't sure if there was a consensus to include some sort of explanation of ping as it related to the incident. – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 08:04, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Great, I'm glad you're fine with that! I saw the whole evolution of "Notable uses of ping" section, :) and it's good such stuff isn't part of the article any longer. — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 08:11, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
@Dsimic: Yeah, thanks for dropping by to help fix the article! :) – FenixFeather (talk)(Contribs) 15:36, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
You're welcome, and thank you for starting the article cleanup. :) — Dsimic (talk | contribs) 21:25, 27 March 2014 (UTC)