[TUHS] when did v8 or later get networking?

Warner Losh imp at bsdimp.com
Sat Aug 12 15:08:00 AEST 2023

On Fri, Aug 11, 2023 at 3:05 AM Paul Ruizendaal <pnr at planet.nl> wrote:

> Bill Joy of CSRG concluded that the BBN stack did not perform according to
> his expectations. Note that CSRG was focused on usage over (thick) ethernet
> links, and BBN was focused on usage over Arpanet and other wide-area
> networks (with much lower bandwidth, and higher latency and error rates).
> He then in 1982 rewrote the stack to match the CSRG environment, changing
> the design to use software interrupts instead of a kernel thread and
> optimising the code (e.g. checksumming and fast code paths). It was a
> matter of debate how new the code was, with the extremes being that it was
> written from scratch using the spec versus it being mostly copied. Looking
> at it with a nearly 50 year distance, it seems in between: small bits of
> surviving SCCS suggest CSRG starting with parts of BBN code followed by
> rapid, massive modification; the end result is quite different but retained
> the ‘mbuf’ core data structure and a BBN bug (off-by-one for OOB TCP
> segments).

When Kirk McKusick tells  the story, UCB got a beta release (or early
access) of the BBN stack. UCB was supposed to add the socket interface to
whatever was there. But Bill Joy found it performed terribly (multiple
seconds to connect sometimes, single digit kB over 10Mb media, etc). He
optimized it to make it perform well. This was a combination of rewriting
chunks and tweaking other chunks, which matches your analysis of SCCS. When
BBN came back with their new, release ready stack Bill supposedly said
something like 'no thanks, we already got one that works way better.' This
is why much of the structure of the original BBN stack survived the
rewrite: if there wasn't a big issue with them, the design and mechanisms
wound up being conserved by this effort. It was too much work to move from
mbuf to something else, and too little gain.

I tried to find a good link, but they are in his BSD history retrospective
talks to differing degrees. Sorry I don't have an exact reference.

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