Network Working Group L. Peter Deutsch
RFC # 446 SRI
NIC # 14068 January 25, 1973
Proposal to consider a Network Program Resource Notebook
The recent requests by Jean Iseli of MITRE for information about all
resources of type X available on the network (where X=macro processors,
data management systems, and electromagnetic wave analysis programs)
lead me to suggest that the NIC be a repository for the replies.
Since the exchange of knowledge and techniques (not to mention
programs) is a central motivating factor in the development of the
ARPANET, it seems only reasonable that we begin to systematize the
process now that someone (MITRE and the government agencies on whose
behalf it is acting) feels there is enough information to be worth
Obviously, the network community should be in a position to profit
from such compilation at least as much as outside agencies.
The NIC already has catalog and keyword capabilities for the Journal and
a large index of computer-related documents which are not on-line. I
would presume that extending this system to include programs and
documentation would not be a major task and would probably bring
immediate payoffs in terms of increased effectiveness of research sites.
This suggestion does not touch on the important larger issue, namely,
what obligations does the network community have to act as a service and
information resource to the outside world (government agencies in
particular) as opposed to its presumed major function of learning about
how to build and use computer networks and its actual major function of
research in many areas of computing which have nothing to do with
networks at all.
I feel that the confusion between the ARPANET as a service network
and the ARPANET as an experiment in the line of network research,
and the frustrations and communication failures resulting from
superimposing network responsibilities on top of existing research
projects, have not received adequate contemplation by the network
I also feel that the ambiguous status of the network has lead to a
sharp division between research/maintenance sites and government
agency user sites, a situation which only can exacerbate my own
feeling that to some extent the former are being exploited for non-
research purposes in a manner that has been fairly rare in the
history or ARPA/IPT.
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