Top 3 RFC

Somitimes the people in the IETF get bored from writing technical RFCs and start to be creative. The publishing date of 1st of April always indictes that the RFC will be fun to read.

Here are my personal Top 3 RFC from the creative authors of the IETF.

Number 1: RFC 1925

The twelve Truth of networking;

published 1. April 1996 by Ross Callon (BayNetworks)

Mindblowing that the 12 Truth of Networking are still all relevant. So it looks like that the fundamentals of IT have not changes since 1996. I like particular Truth number 1, 9 and 11.

(1) It Has To Work.

(2) No matter how hard you push and no matter what the priority,
you can't increase the speed of light.

(2a) (corollary). No matter how hard you try, you can't make a
baby in much less than 9 months. Trying to speed this up
*might* make it slower, but it won't make it happen any

(3) With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine. However, this is
not necessarily a good idea. It is hard to be sure where they
are going to land, and it could be dangerous sitting under them
as they fly overhead.

(4) Some things in life can never be fully appreciated nor
understood unless experienced firsthand. Some things in
networking can never be fully understood by someone who neither
builds commercial networking equipment nor runs an operational

(5) It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems
into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases
this is a bad idea.

(6) It is easier to move a problem around (for example, by moving
the problem to a different part of the overall network
architecture) than it is to solve it.

(6a) (corollary). It is always possible to add another level of

(7) It is always something

(7a) (corollary). Good, Fast, Cheap: Pick any two (you can't
have all three).

(8) It is more complicated than you think.

(9) For all resources, whatever it is, you need more.

(9a) (corollary) Every networking problem always takes longer to
solve than it seems like it should.

(10) One size never fits all.

(11) Every old idea will be proposed again with a different name and
a different presentation, regardless of whether it works.

(11a) (corollary). See rule 6a.

(12) In protocol design, perfection has been reached not when there
is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take

Number 2: RFC 3514

Security Flag in the IPv4 Header;

published 1. April 2003 by Steven Bellovin (AT&T Research Lab)

Baisicly it discibes the “evil Bit” that can be set in the IPv4 header so that it is more to filter good from bad traffic. Haven´t seen a lot of adoptions of the evil bit so far but I am sure that the worldwide hacker community is working on it.

Number 3: RFC 2549

IP over Avian Carriers with Quality of Servic;

published 1. April 1999 by David Weitzman (IronBridge networks)

If you always wanted to bring the digital century to avian carrieres here you find how you can do that.

                                  _____/-----\   / o\
                                 <____   _____\_/    >--
                 +-----+              \ /    /______/
                 | 10g |               /|:||/
                 +-----+              /____/|
                 | 10g |                    |
                 +-----+          ..        X

If you also have a favorite Aprils fools RFC please leave a comment.

About Dominik

Network problem solver
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