US patent 5473599

Robert Drake rdrake at
Thu May 8 03:58:08 UTC 2014

On 5/7/2014 9:47 PM, Rob Seastrom wrote:
> The bar for an informational RFC is pretty darned low.  I don't see
> anything in the datagram nature of "i'm alive, don't pull the trigger
> yet" that would preclude a UDP packet rather than naked IP.  Hell,
> since it's not supposed to leave the LAN, one could even get a
> different ethertype and run entirely outside of IP.  Of course, the
> organization that has trouble coming up with the bucks for an OUI
> might have trouble coming up with the (2014 dollars) $2915 for a
> publicly registered ethertype too.

Meh.. it's open source.  If I design a toaster that spits flames when 
you put bagels in it, then I put the design on github and forget about 
it, I shouldn't be held responsible for someone adding it to their 
network and setting fire to a router or two.

A problem that the developer doesn't have isn't a problem.  Oh, the user 
community noticed an interoperability issue?  What user community?  I 
was building this toaster for myself.  I released the plans in case it 
inspires or helps others.  If fire isn't what you need then maybe you 
can modify it to do what's needed.*

Now, the bar for an informational RFC is pretty low.  Especially for 
people who have written them before.  Those people seem to think one is 
needed in this case so they might want to get started writing it.  Then 
patches to the man pages covering the past issues can be added to 
document things, and a patch can be issued with the new OUI, ethertype, 
or port number, whichever the RFC decides to go for.

> Must be a pretty horrible existence ("I pity the fool"?) to live on
> donated resources but lack the creativity to figure out a way to run a
> special fund raiser for an amount worthy of a Scout troop bake sale.
> Makes you wonder what the OpenBSD project could accomplish if they had
> smart people who could get along with others to the point of shaking
> them down for tax-deductible donations, doesn't it?
> -r
The money could also be donated by parties interested in solutions.

Open source is about people finding a problem and fixing it for their 
own benefit then giving the fix away to the community for everyone's 
benefit.  I know in the past the OpenBSD community has been harsh with 
outsiders who submit patches.  I honestly expect the same response in 
this case, especially because of the underlying drama associated with 
it, but without trying first it just seems like the network community is 
whining without being helpful at all.

To be fair, we're used to dealing with vendors where we can't change 
things so we bitch about them until they fix code for us.  In this case 
there is no "them" to bitch about.  We (the community) wrote the code 
and it's up to us to fix it.  If you don't consider yourself part of the 
OpenBSD community then you shouldn't be using their products and 
encountering problems, right?

* yeah, that's a very insular view and not really acceptable in the 
grown up world, but everyone's been beating them down over this and 
sometimes you end up taking your ball and going home because you're 
tired of people criticizing your plays.

More information about the NANOG mailing list