Talk:Lawrence Roberts (scientist)

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The first sentence of this article is problematic: "Lawrence G. Roberts has been described as one of the four persons most closely associated with the birth of the Internet, the other three being Leonard Kleinrock, Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf."

It contains an unsourced statement, and uses the passive voice to weasel-word "has been described".

Second, it fails to define what it means by "birth of the Internet". Does "birth of the Internet" mean ARPAnet and NCP and TCP/IP or does it refer to the deployment of the IMP's and the first connection to CSNET?

Third, it doesn't give due credit to J.C.R. Licklider, Jon Postel, Steve Crocker, Larry Landweber, Wes Clark or Donald Davis.

Fourth, I don't think Cerf belongs on the list at all... he helped in documenting the TCP/IP standard in an IEEE article co-authored by Kahn in 1974, but it was Jon Postel who wrote RFC 760, RFC 761, RFC 791, RFC 792, RFC 793 &tc.

Note the entry on Roberts chronology of the internet:

1962 August: First Paper on Internet Concept by J.C.R. Licklider & Welden Clark, "On-Line Man Computer Communication".

October: ARPA Computer Program Begins, J.C.R. Licklider becomes first ARPA IPTO Director. Writes internal papers on Galactic Network. Lick leaves in 64. It was Licklider's concept, which spurred Roberts to build the Internet.


Cerf's major contribution didn't start until 1973-1974 with the publication of his and Kahn's IEEE paper. Cerf didn't join ARPA until 1976.

I suggest replacing this leading sentence with, "Lawrence G. Roberts is a computer engineer who played a key role in the development of the ARPAnet and early internet protocols."

Later in the article, the following is cited as information from Roberts' "personal home page":

Today, Roberts and Kleinrock, along with Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, are widely recognized as the four founding fathers of the Internet.

I am unable to find this statement on Roberts' homepage. Also, this is an opinion, not a fact, and it fails NPOV I think.

Scanlyze 13:24, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

It is also questionable to base any, or most of the article on Roberts' self-published web pages; this seems to fall afoul of NP: V: "Articles should rely on reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy."

Scanlyze 13:39, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Found the quote on the "four fathers" on Roberts' about page:

Today, Roberts and Kleinrock, along with Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn, are widely recognized as the four founding fathers of the Internet. [2]

The statement (repeated twice in the short article) about the "four fathers of the internet" has a factual basis, but it is self-serving and opinionated and therefore I have requested a POV-check. Its analogous to us putting in an article that Barry Bonds widely recognized as the greatest home-run hitter of all time and citing his own self-hosted about page as the source of the statement. Why not just describe Roberts' major achievements and let them speak for themselves?

This article needs to be re-searched and re-sourced from reputable third-party sources such as the RFCs, particularly RFC 2235 and books such as "Where Wizards Stay Up Late": ISBN-10: 0684812010 ISBN-13: 978-0684812014 according to Amazon.

Scanlyze 16:54, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I concur with the above speakers, the article is very poor indeed. Statements like "Roberts developed the first computer-to-computer network that could communicate via data packets" based on popular press articles are not worth anything, historically speaking. The claims made in the article are sweeping and do not at all reflect the intellectual and historical context of the Arpanet. In fact, looking at the Wired article referenced in the article makes me think of outright plagiarism rather than neutral reporting. Quote:

Inspired by Leonard Kleinrock and J. C. R. Licklider's 1961 paper on the concept of a "Galactic Network," Roberts began working on a packet-switching protocol. In 1965, he pulled off the first computer-to-computer communication using data packets.

Mbaer3000 10 April 2009 —Preceding undated comment added 22:10, 10 April 2009 (UTC).

Notable work in imagery[edit]

Lawrence Roberts is mentioned early this this Computer Vision: Past, Present, and Future Google TechTalk. The presenter mentioned that his wikipedia article is missing a lot of detail, lets fix that.

He is mentioned in the Dithering#Etymology article:

The concept of dithering to reduce quantization patterns was first applied by Lawrence G. Roberts[4] in his 1961 MIT master's thesis[5] and 1962 article[6] though he did not use the term dither.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:06, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

What Nonsense[edit]

'Roberts and his team created packet switching and the ARPANET', hah tell us another one, Donald Davies both independently invented PS and created the actual term way before ARPANET designers 'integrated' (stole) his work. Twobells (talk) 17:50, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

 Done I reworded the lead to, hopefully, address the above comments. I ask Twobells to be very cautious about casually throwing around the term "stole" in contexts such as this. Theft of another person's work is a serious matter and is not a charge that should be made in a biographical article (or its talk page) on Wikipedia without supporting references. --Jeff Ogden (W163) (talk) 00:28, 26 July 2012 (UTC)