The Internet Protocol Journal - Volume 3, No. 2

From The Editor

From The Editor

Two protocols used in the Internet are so important that they deserve special attention: the Internet Protocol (IP) from which this journal takes its name, and the Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). IP is fundamental to Internet addressing and routing, while TCP provides a reliable transport service that is used by most Internet applications, including interactive Telnet, file transfer, electronic mail, and Web page access via HTTP. Because of the critical importance of TCP to the operation of the Internet, it has received much attention in the research community over the years. As a result, numerous improvements to implementations of TCP have been developed and deployed. In this issue, Geoff Huston takes a detailed look at TCP from a performance perspective and describes several enhancements to the original protocol. In a second article, Geoff will look at the challenges facing TCP in a rapidly growing and changing Internet, and describe work to further augment TCP.

Electronic mail is by far the most used of all Internet applications. The fundamental protocols for delivery and retrieval of e-mail have not changed much since the early days of the ARPANET, but as with TCP, many enhancements have been added to accommodate new uses of e-mail. Today, Internet e-mail supports international character sets, includes the ability to send file attachments, and allows roaming e-mail clients to authenticate themselves to servers. All of this has been made possible by continued development in the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). In our second article, Paul Hoffman of the Internet Mail Consortium gives an overview of Internet mail standards.

This is the second anniversary issue of The Internet Protocol Journal (IPJ). By now more than 10,000 people from virtually every country in the world have subscribed to the paper edition of IPJ. In order to serve our readers better, we are developing an online subscription system, which will be deployed in July 2000. With this new system you will be able to modify your mailing address as well as select your preferred delivery method for the journal. You can choose to receive IPJ on paper, or be notified via e-mail when a new issue becomes available on line. More information about this new system can be found on our Web site at . We would love to hear your feedback on this system and any other aspect of IPJ. Please send your comments to

- Ole J. Jacobsen, Editor and Publisher .