IPv6 "bloat" history

William Allen Simpson william.allen.simpson at gmail.com
Fri Mar 25 14:04:11 UTC 2022

On 3/23/22 2:25 AM, Masataka Ohta wrote:
> William Allen Simpson wrote:
>>   6) The Paul Francis (the originator of NAT) Polymorphic Internet Protocol
>>      (PIP) had some overlapping features, so we also asked them to merge
>>      with us (July 1993).  More complexity in the protocol header chaining.
> With the merger, Paul Francis was saying he was unhappy
> because PIP is dead. So the merger is not voluntary for
> him and the added complexity is technically meaningless.

He seemed happy at the Amsterdam 1993 meeting, but as time went on he was
sidelined.  Likewise, I eventually regretted having joined with the others.
We lost control of the main ideas.

For example, originally V6 was designed to use shortest path first
interior routing.  All the announcements were Link State, everything was in
place.  I still wince at the memory of the PARC meeting where Eric stated
that RIP was good enough for V4, so it is good enough for V6.

Then he was assigned to be my "co-author".  So I quit.

What you know as Neighbor Discovery was not the original design.  Nor was
RIPv6 needed.

When I was giving a talk at Google 25 years later I was asked why that
happened (by a then member of the IAB).  A sore spot, long remembered.
Committee-itis at its worst.

>> IPv4 options were recognized as harmful.  SIPP used header chains instead.
>> But the whole idea was to speed processing, eliminating hop-by-hop.
>> Then the committees added back the hop by hop processing (type 0).
>> Terrible!
> Really? But, rfc1710 states:
>     The SIPP option headers which are currently defined are:
>       Hop-by-Hop Option          Special options which require hop by hop
>                                  processing

Yep, that was one of the reasons I quit.

Digging out my files, I'd forked my documents by July 17, 1994.  (That's
the last date I'd touched them, so it was before then.)  RFC 1710 was later.

Also, I registered IPvB with Jon Postel.

These are all old nroff files, but I could hand format a bit and post
things here.  Not that it makes much difference today, yet some of my
ideas made it into Fibre Channel and InfiniBand.

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