RF flag

Steve Deering <deering@pescadero.stanford.edu> Tue, 05 December 1989 21:53 UTC

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Date: 5 Dec 1989 13:17-PST
From: Steve Deering <deering@pescadero.stanford.edu>
Subject: RF flag
To: mtudwg
Message-Id: <89/12/05 1317.877@pescadero.stanford.edu>
In-Reply-To: jnc's message of Sun, 3 Dec 89 220141 EST

I don't have time at the moment to respond to all the good suggestions
that are being bounced around, but I'd just like to say that, from my
point of view, use of the spare IP header flag as an RF flag is *not*
yet out of the question, despite Noel's attempt to pull rank on us.
In other words, my answer to Noel's comment:

	I hope nobody's too bummed at me for the cold water on the
	fragmentation bit. It's just that we do only have bit, and
	Congestion is really a big problem...

is yes, I'm bummed (but maybe not *too* bummed).

It is understood that Congestion is a Really Big Problem, but it is
far from agreed that the DEC bit is the solution.  Jacobson's approach
of discarding packets as a congestion "signal" has the advantages of
(a) immediately reducing the number of packets in the network, and
(b) working with existing host implementations.

Sure there's only one spare bit and we don't want to squander it,
but unless you are saying it can  *never* be used, I think we should
be able to weigh the needs and benefits of any competing proposals
and pick one accordingly.  By "we", I guess I mean the IESG, since
it's a trans-working-group issue.  More than just Noel, in any case.

Respectfully yours,
Steve