Talk:History of the Internet
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What is an internet, and history of the name of the Internet
I have a bit of a problem with this:
The term "internet" was adopted in the first RFC published on the TCP protocol (RFC 675: Internet Transmission Control Program, December 1974) as an abbreviation of the term internetworking and the two terms were used interchangeably. In general, an internet was any network using TCP/IP. It was around the time when ARPANET was interlinked with NSFNET in the late 1980s, that the term was used as the name of the network, Internet, being the large and global TCP/IP network.
Now, I can't comment on whether internet generally meant "any network using TCP/IP" back in 1974, but I'm skeptical. I can say that it certainly didn't mean that by the 80's. An internet or internetwork was just an interconnected set of networks, as mentioned earlier, regardless of the protocol suite it was running.
Internetworking was common with the DECnet and AppleTalk protocol suites as well as with the TCP/IP protocol suite. Indeed, Apple had a product (a router for the AppleTalk protocol suite) that was called AppleTalk Internet Router - and it didn't do any TCP/IP; it's purpose was to connect several AppleTalk networks together to form an AppleTalk internet.
In the early days, therefore, you had to distinguish which internet you were talking about. What is now simply called the Internet was, back then, often called the connected Internet or the ARPA Internet to disambiguate it. The current Internet wasn't even the only attempt to create a global connected internet - there were attempts to create a connected AppleTalk internet and I think a connected DECnet internet, too, although nither ever really gained a huge amount of traction.
It's going to need some work to rework this but I'm just putting this here in order to gather information and references.
There's a USENET post here quoting Bill Clinton in 1999. Bill Clinton uses both "the Internet" and "the connected Internet" in his address. https://groups.google.com/forum/#!search/%22the$20connected$20internet%22/alt.politics/HtYUgQ7Co1A/eKifrR7EZbgJ
This document, describing a multiprotocol router from HP, talks about its capabilities in respect of a "DECnet internetwork" ftp://ftp-boi.external.hp.com/ftp1/pub/networking/software/59628770.pdf
Secondly, Tannenbaum notwithstanding, it's always been, as now, "the Internet", complete with definite article - as now, we never called the network simply "Internet", unadorned (although occasionally clueless journalists did).
There's more work to do to find references and dates. Also I found a reference to Comer's book Internetworking with TCP/IP which looks useful re 'connected Internet'; I have a copy of that textbook on my shelf so will look it up.
Request to add 25 Years of the Internet Infographic
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- Not done or at least I'm not going to do it. Another editor may feel differently. This article already has too many external links and the timeline presented seems more about the World Wide Web than the Internet. Perhaps this would be better as part of the History of the World Wide Web? Also, scrolling from year to year didn't seem to work very smoothly on my Macbook Pro using Firefox. -Jeff Ogden (W163) (talk) 16:33, 4 August 2014 (UTC)
Semi-protected edit request on 17 March 2015
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- Not done: as you have not requested a change.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 13:58, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Recent edit in lead section
I believe the recent additon to the first sentence of the fourth paragraph of the lead section is unclear and poorly worded, it also seems to conflate the Internet with the World Wide Web. I have begun by removing the unnecessary "thus" and "hence", but I am not completely sure exactly what the author means in the first sentence so I am not sure what alternate wording to suggest, or if the sentence indeed belongs in the lead at all. --HarryHenryGebel (talk) 05:27, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Who was first?
I just reverted two edits by User:Twobells. The version before Twobells' changes read:
- Packet switching networks such as ARPANET, Mark I at NPL in the UK, CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications protocols. The ARPANET in particular led to the development of protocols for internetworking, in which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks.
The version after Twobells' changes read:
- Packet switching networks such as ARPANET, Mark I at NPL in the UK, CYCLADES, Merit Network, Tymnet, and Telenet, were developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s using a variety of communications protocols. Donald Davies was the first to put theory into practice by designing a packet-switched network at the National Physics Laboratory in the UK, the first of its kind in the world and the cornerstone for UK research for almost two decades.  Following, ARPANET further led to the development of protocols for internetworking, in which multiple separate networks could be joined into a network of networks.
- Data Communications at the National Physical Laboratory (1965-1975) IEEE Annals of the History of Computing, Volume 9 Issue 3-4, Pages 221-247, Martin Campbell-Kelly.|http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/login.jsp?tp=&arnumber=4640566&url=http%3A%2F%2Fieeexplore.ieee.org%2Fxpls%2Fabs_all.jsp%3Farnumber%3D4640566%7Caccessdate=18 May 2015|
We are now back to the original version without twobells' changes. According to the ARPANET article the first APRANET messages were exchanged in October 1969. The abstract to the article that twobells' cited (I don't have access to the full article) includes this sentence: "The report focuses on the construction of the NPL Data Communications Network, which first became operational in 1970." Given this, I think it is best to avoid claims about who was "first". --Jeff Ogden (W163) (talk) 04:08, 19 May 2015 (UTC)
- No-one is trying to create a 'who was first' argument, all I was doing was correcting the chronology, the network at NPL created by Davies was both the first packet-switched network and the first such network described so. The NPL DCN wasn't the first network just a larger version of the original which was created in 1966. One notable source is Yates' insighftul work 'Turing's Legacy: A History of Computing at the National Physical Laboratory 1945-1995'  page 117
- Turings Legacy Computing Laboratory (1945-1995) "Turing's Legacy: A History of Computing at the National Physical Laboratory 1945-1995", Pages 126-146, David M. Yates|url=https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=ToMfAQAAIAAJ |accessdate=19 May 2015|
- It is hard to avoid a "who is first" argument with the wording "Donald Davies was the first to put theory into practice by designing a packet-switched network at the National Physics Laboratory in the UK ...". It seems as if there are two NPL networks being mentioned at different points in the article and one of them became operational in 1970 (see the sub-section on NPL a little further on in the article). If that is the case, we need to make that clear since right now the article seems to contradict itself. Perhaps this more detailed information doesn't belong in the lead, but could be put into the sub-section on NPL instead. It would also be good to include a specific date or at least the year when "Davies put theory into practice". --Jeff Ogden (W163) (talk) 13:31, 19 May 2015 (UTC)