Talk:Jon Postel

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Membership in the ACM isn't a particular distinction--it's a large organization, and easy to join. Did Postel do anything specific with/for ACM? Hold office, edit a journal? Vicki Rosenzweig

I agree, I removed this part. Marco d'Itri


I'm so lucky, I got to meet the man a year before he passed away.

Comments from Joe Bannister (, ex director of div 7)[edit]

Vicki's sentiment about Jon's ACM membership is correct, but I'll point out that he was the 1997 corecipient of the ACM Sigcomm Award, which is highly prestigious. Jon also received the 1998 ITU Silver Medal, the 1997 John C. Dvorak Award for Telecommunications Excellence, and (posthumously) the 1999 Jonathan B. Postel Service Award from ISOC.

Jon's death did follow heart-valve replacement surgery -- but by several (five or six) years. His unexpected death, however, was related to heart problems. To be pedantically precise, he died in Santa Monica, California, which is in the county (but not the city) of Los Angeles.

Thanks for your accurate and objective article. I miss Jon and am pleased to see him thus remembered.

Controversy about the root hijack[edit]

I was surprised this para omitted his motivation. I guess it remains unclear.

We need some additional references to this event. I'd recommend:

Added last two sources for controversy aspect of the NTIA proposal --Lexein (talk) 22:53, 17 April 2011 (UTC)
After the recent addition of several sources, I've commented out the "furious Ira Magaziner" phrase, in favor of those sources. We may infer, as knowledgeable bearded old ones, that Mr. M. lost his shit, but until RS says so, we can't. Unfortunately, all the echoes of the article will take months, or years, to reflect this change. --Lexein (talk) 00:33, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

Personal Data[edit]

Birthplace? (talk) 12:39, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Don't know, but it's not mentioned, so I added Category:Place of birth missing. Terraxos (talk) 05:39, 7 August 2008 (UTC)

What of /etc/services?[edit]

I came to this page due to Jon Postel's name and eMail being plastered all over the port numbers in my file /etc/services. Is there some purpose in /etc/services having eMail addresses? Kd4ttc (talk) 04:23, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

The email addresses aren't actually used by by internetworking protocols (they will be comments after the "#"). The purpose is to give the administrative contact for service port number assignments. Through most of the early genesis of the Internet, the port numbers were all assigned by Jon Postel, presumably he kept them all in a text file on his computer, and that's how the entire internet worked! It's a pretty amazing story actually. If you have more questions, you could ask them at our WP:Reference desk/Computing. Franamax (talk) 05:18, 4 December 2009 (UTC)


Actualized the number of RFC's from until the end of October 2010. —Preceding unsigned comment added by SpeakFree (talkcontribs) 21:09, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

Criticism of "Postel's law"[edit]

Perhaps there should be a criticism section. Might be hard to find sources, but applying Postel's law causes huge problems in many cases, for example Internet Explorer's allowance invalid HTML and Javascript lead to security flaws, and invalid code which then can't be run in other browsers. The modern approach is to be extremely strict about interpreting input, so the inputter is made immediately aware that they've done it wrong. (talk) 15:29, 18 February 2013 (UTC)


Should the title of the page be his birth name and not his nick name? (Jonathan not Jon)

Davidgumberg (talk) 00:32, 10 May 2013 (UTC)

  • We have some guidance from WP:COMMONNAME - and tend to use the name preferred/published by the person. --Lexein (talk) 05:15, 14 July 2013 (UTC)