[DNS] Fw: PAB Death of Jon Postel

[DNS] Fw: PAB Death of Jon Postel

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Date: Sun, 18 Oct 1998 10:14:22 +1000
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-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Shaw <robert.shaw&#167;itu.int>
To: pab&#167;gtld-mou.org <pab§gtld-mou.org>
Date: Sunday, 18 October 1998 2:55
Subject: PAB Death of Jon Postel


We are all deeply saddened by the news below of Jon passing

Robert Shaw <robert.shaw&#167;itu.int>
Head a.i., IED/Advisor, Global Information Infrastructure
International Telecommunication Union <http://www.itu.int>
Place des Nations, 1211 Geneva, Switzerland

              >To: ip-sub-1&#167;majordomo.pobox.com
              >From: Dave Farber <farber&#167;cis.upenn.edu>
              >Subject: IP: Remembrance/postel
              >Mime-Version: 1.0
              >Sender: owner-ip-sub-1&#167;majordomo.pobox.com
              >Precedence: list
              >Reply-To: farber&#167;cis.upenn.edu
              >I, and others I fear, have spent a sleepless night after
hearing of the
              >death of Jon Postel last night. This morning there was a note
in my mail
              >box from Vint Cerf that said many of the things I feel at
this time. I
              >asked him for permission to send on which he granted.
              >I also remember Jon. I was his primary thesis advisor along
with Jerry
              >Estrin and I remember with fond memories the months spent
closely working
              >with Jon while his eager mind developed the ideas in back of
what was a
              >pioneering thesis that founded the area of protocol
verification. Since I
              >was at UC Irvine and Jon at UCLA we used to meet in the
morning prior to
              >my ride to UCI at a Pancake House in Santa Monica for
breakfast and the
              >hard work of developing a thesis. I gained a great respect
for Jon then
              >and 10 pounds of weight.
              >I will miss him greatly. Jon was my second Ph.D. student. The
              >Philip Merlin, also died way before his time.

              > October 17, 1998
              >I REMEMBER IANA
              >Vint Cerf
              >A long time ago, in a network, far far away, a great
adventure took place…
              >Out of the chaos of new ideas for communication, the
experiments, the
              >tentative designs, and crucible of testing, there emerged a
cornucopia of
              >networks. Beginning with the ARPANET, an endless stream of
              >evolved, and ultimately were interlinked to become the
Internet. Someone
              >had to keep track of all the protocols, the identifiers,
networks and
              >addresses and ultimately the names of all the things in the
              >universe. And someone had to keep track of all the
information that
              >erupted with volcanic force from the intensity of the debates
              >discussions and endless invention that has continued unabated
for 30
              >years. That someone was Jonathan B. Postel, our Internet
Assigned Numbers
              >Authority, friend, engineer, confidant, leader, icon, and
now, first of
              >the giants to depart from our midst.
              >Jon, our beloved IANA, is gone. Even as I write these words I
cannot quite
              >grasp this stark fact. We had almost lost him once before in
1991. Surely
              >we knew he was at risk as are we all. But he had been our
rock, the
              >foundation on which our every web search and email was built,
always there
              >to mediate the random dispute, to remind us when our
documentation did not
              >do justice to its subject, to make difficult decisions with
apparent ease,
              >and to consult when careful consideration was needed. We will
survive our
              >loss and we will remember. He has left a monumental legacy
for all
              >Internauts to contemplate. Steadfast service for decades,
moving when
              >others seemed paralyzed, always finding the right course in a
              >minefield of technical and sometimes political obstacles.
              >Jon and I went to the same high school, Van Nuys High, in the
San Fernando
              >Valley north of Los Angeles. But we were in different classes
and I really
              >didn’t know him then. Our real meeting came at UCLA when we
became a part
              >of a group of graduate students working for Prof. Leonard
Kleinrock on the
              >ARPANET project. Steve Crocker was another of the Van Nuys
crowd who was
              >part of the team and led the development of the first
host-host protocols
              >for the ARPANET. When Steve invented the idea of the Request
for Comments
              >series, Jon became the instant editor. When we needed to keep
track of all
              >the hosts and protocol identifiers, Jon volunteered to be the
Numbers Czar
              >and later the IANA once the Internet was in place.
              >Jon was a founding member of the Internet Architecture Board
and served
              >continuously from its founding to the present. He was the
FIRST individual
              >member of the Internet Society I know, because he and Steve
Wolff raced to
              >see who could fill out the application forms and make payment
first and
              >Jon won. He served as a trustee of the Internet Society. He
was the
              >custodian of the .US domain, a founder of the Los Nettos
Internet service,
              >and, by the way, managed the networking research division of
              >Information Sciences Institute.
              >Jon loved the outdoors. I know he used to enjoy backpacking
in the high
              >Sierras around Yosemite. Bearded and sandaled, Jon was our
              >hippie-patriarch at UCLA. He was a private person but fully
capable of
              >engaging photon torpedoes and going to battle stations in a
              >engineering argument. And he could be stubborn beyond all
expectation. He
              >could have outwaited the Sphinx in a staring contest, I
              >Jon inspired loyalty and steadfast devotion among his friends
and his
              >colleagues. For me, he personified the words “selfless
service.” For
              >nearly 30 years, Jon has served us all, taken little in
return, indeed
              >sometimes receiving abuse when he should have received our
              >appreciation. It was particularly gratifying at the last
Internet Society
              >meeting in Geneva to see Jon receive the Silver Medal of the
              >Telecommunications Union. It is an award generally reserved
for Heads of
              >State but I can think of no one more deserving of global
recognition for
              >his contributions.
              >While it seems almost impossible to avoid feeling an enormous
sense of
              >loss, as if a yawning gap in our networked universe had
opened up and
              >swallowed our friend, I must tell you that I am comforted as
I contemplate
              >what Jon has wrought. He leaves a legacy of edited documents
that tell our
              >collective Internet story, including not only the technical
but also the
              >poetic and whimsical as well. He completed the incorporation
of a
              >successor to his service as IANA and leaves a lasting legacy
of service to
              >the community in that role. His memory is rich and vibrant
and will not
              >fade from our collective consciousness. “What would Jon have
done?” we
              >will think, as we wrestle in the days ahead with the problems
Jon kept so
              >well tamed for so many years.
              >There will almost surely be many memorials to Jon’s
monumental service to
              >the Internet Community. As current chairman of the Internet
Society, I
              >pledge to establish an award in Jon’s name to recognize
              >service to the community, the Jonathan B. Postel Service
Award, which is
              >awarded to Jon posthumously as its first recipient.
              >If Jon were here, I am sure he would urge us not to mourn his
passing but
              >to celebrate his life and his contributions. He would remind
us that there
              >is still much work to be done and that we now have the
responsibility and
              >the opportunity to do our part. I doubt that anyone could
              >duplicate his record, but it stands as a measure of one man’s
              >contribution to a community he knew and loved.
Received on Sun Oct 18 1998 - 08:13:13 UTC

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