RFCs in HTML Format

RFC 1983

                        Internet Users' Glossary

Table of Contents

   non-letter  . .  2      I . . . . . . . 26      R . . . . . . . 4
   A . . . . . . .  2      J . . . . . . . 33      S . . . . . . . 4
   B . . . . . . .  7      K . . . . . . . 33      T . . . . . . . 5
   C . . . . . . . 10      L . . . . . . . 33      U . . . . . . . 5
   D . . . . . . . 14      M . . . . . . . 35      V . . . . . . . 5
   E . . . . . . . 18      N . . . . . . . 39      W . . . . . . . 5
   F . . . . . . . 20      O . . . . . . . 42      X . . . . . . . 5
   G . . . . . . . 22      P . . . . . . . 43      Y . . . . . . . 6
   H . . . . . . . 23      Q . . . . . . . 46      Z . . . . . . . 6

   References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
   Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
   Editor's Address  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

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RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Glossary 10Base2 A physical layer communications specification for 10Mbps, baseband data transmission over a coaxial cable (Thinnet) with a maximum cable segment length of 200 meters. 10Base5 A physical layer communications specification for 10Mbps, baseband data transmission over a coaxial cable (Thicknet) with a maximum cable segment length of 500 meters. 10BaseF A physical layer communications specification for 10Mbps, baseband data transmission over a fiber-optic cable. 10BaseT A physical layer communications specification for 10Mbps, baseband data transmission over a twisted-pair copper wire. 802.x The set of IEEE standards for the definition of LAN protocols. See also: IEEE. 822 See: RFC 822 :-) This odd symbol is one of the ways a person can portray "mood" in the very flat medium of computers--by using "smiley faces". This is "metacommunication", and there are literally hundreds of such symbols, from the obvious to the obscure. This particular example expresses "happiness". Don't see it? Tilt your head to the left 90 degrees. Smiles are also used to denote sarcasm. [Source: ZEN] abstract syntax A description of a data structure that is independent of machine- oriented structures and encodings. [Source: RFC1208] Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN.1) The language used by the OSI protocols for describing abstract syntax. This language is also used to encode SNMP packets. ASN.1 is defined in ISO documents 8824.2 and 8825.2. See also: Basic Encoding Rules. Malkin Informational [Page 2]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) Many transit networks have policies which restrict the use to which the network may be put. For example, some networks may only be used for non-commercial purposes. Some AUPs limit the type of material which can be made available to the public (e.g., pornographic material). Enforcement of AUPs varies with the network. See also: netiquette. Access Control List (ACL) Most network security systems operate by allowing selective use of services. An Access Control List is the usual means by which access to, and denial of, services is controlled. It is simply a list of the services available, each with a list of the hosts permitted to use the service. ACK See: Acknowledgment acknowledgment (ACK) A type of message sent to indicate that a block of data arrived at its destination without error. See also: Negative Acknowledgement. [Source: NNSC] ACL See: Access Control List AD See: Administrative Domain address There are four types of addresses in common use within the Internet. They are email address; IP, internet or Internet address; hardware or MAC address; and URL. See also: email address, IP address, internet address, MAC address, Uniform Resource Locator. address mask A bit mask used to identify which bits in an IP address correspond to the network and subnet portions of the address. This mask is often referred to as the subnet mask because the network portion of the address (i.e., the network mask) can be determined by the encoding inherent in an IP address. See also: Classless Inter- domain Routing. Malkin Informational [Page 3]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 address resolution Conversion of a network-layer address (e.g. IP address) into the corresponding physical address (e.g., MAC address). See also: IP address, MAC address. Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) Used to dynamically discover the low level physical network hardware address that corresponds to the high level IP address for a given host. ARP is limited to physical network systems that support broadcast packets that can be heard by all hosts on the network. See also: proxy ARP, Reverse Address Resolution Protocol. Administrative Domain (AD) A collection of hosts and routers, and the interconnecting network(s), managed by a single administrative authority. Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) An agency of the U.S. Department of Defense responsible for the development of new technology for use by the military. ARPA (formerly known as DARPA, nee ARPA) was responsible for funding much of the development of the Internet we know today, including the Berkeley version of Unix and TCP/IP. [Source: NNSC] Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) A pioneering longhaul network funded by ARPA. Now retired, it served as the basis for early networking research as well as a central backbone during the development of the Internet. The ARPANET consisted of individual packet switching computers interconnected by leased lines. See also: Advanced Research Projects Agency. [Source: FYI4] agent In the client-server model, the part of the system that performs information preparation and exchange on behalf of a client or server application. [Source: RFC1208] alias A name, usually short and easy to remember, that is translated into another name, usually long and difficult to remember. American National Standards Institute (ANSI) This organization is responsible for approving U.S. standards in many areas, including computers and communications. Standards approved by this organization are often called ANSI standards Malkin Informational [Page 4]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 (e.g., ANSI C is the version of the C language approved by ANSI). ANSI is a member of ISO. See also: International Organization for Standardization. [Source: NNSC] American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) A standard character-to-number encoding widely used in the computer industry. See also: EBCDIC. anonymous FTP Anonymous FTP allows a user to retrieve documents, files, programs, and other archived data from anywhere in the Internet without having to establish a userid and password. By using the special userid of "anonymous" the network user will bypass local security checks and will have access to publicly accessible files on the remote system. See also: archive site, File Transfer Protocol, World Wide Web. ANSI See: American National Standards Institute API See: Application Program Interface Appletalk A networking protocol developed by Apple Computer for communication between Apple Computer products and other computers. This protocol is independent of the network layer on which it is run. Current implementations exist for Localtalk, a 235Kb/s local area network; and Ethertalk, a 10Mb/s local area network. [Source: NNSC] application A program that performs a function directly for a user. FTP, mail and Telnet clients are examples of network applications. application layer The top layer of the network protocol stack. The application layer is concerned with the semantics of work (e.g. formatting electronic mail messages). How to represent that data and how to reach the foreign node are issues for lower layers of the network. [Source: MALAMUD] Application Program Interface (API) A set of calling conventions which define how a service is invoked through a software package. [Source: RFC1208] Malkin Informational [Page 5]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 archie A system to automatically gather, index and serve information on the Internet. The initial implementation of archie provided an indexed directory of filenames from all anonymous FTP archives on the Internet. Later versions provide other collections of information. See also: archive site, Gopher, Prospero, Wide Area Information Servers. archive site A machine that provides access to a collection of files across the Internet. For example, an anonymous FTP archive site provides access to arcived material via the FTP protocol. WWW servers can also serve as archive sites. See also: anonymous FTP, archie, Gopher, Prospero, Wide Area Information Servers, World Wide Web. ARP See: Address Resolution Protocol ARPA See: Advanced Research Projects Agency ARPANET See: Advanced Research Projects Agency Network AS See: Autonomous System ASCII See: American Standard Code for Information Interchange ASN.1 See: Abstract Syntax Notation One assigned numbers The RFC [STD2] which documents the currently assigned values from several series of numbers used in network protocol implementations. This RFC is updated periodically and, in any case, current information can be obtained from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA). If you are developing a protocol or application that will require the use of a link, socket, port, protocol, etc., please contact the IANA to receive a number assignment. See also: Internet Assigned Numbers Authority, STD. [Source: STD2] Malkin Informational [Page 6]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) A standard which defines high-load, high-speed (1.544Mbps through 1.2Gbps), fixed-size packet (cell) switching with dynamic bandwidth allocation. ATM is also known as "fast packet." ATM See: Asynchronous Transfer Mode AUP See: Acceptable Use Policy authentication The verification of the identity of a person or process. [Source: MALAMUD] Autonomous System (AS) A collection of routers under a single administrative authority using a common Interior Gateway Protocol for routing packets. backbone The top level in a hierarchical network. Stub and transit networks which connect to the same backbone are guaranteed to be interconnected. See also: stub network, transit network. bandwidth Technically, the difference, in Hertz (Hz), between the highest and lowest frequencies of a transmission channel. However, as typically used, the amount of data that can be sent through a given communications circuit. bang path A series of machine names used to direct electronic mail from one user to another, typically by specifying an explicit UUCP path through which the mail is to be routed. See also: email address, mail path, UNIX-to-UNIX CoPy. baseband A transmission medium through which digital signals are sent without complicated frequency shifting. In general, only one communication channel is available at any given time. Ethernet is an example of a baseband network. See also: broadband, Ethernet. [Source: NNSC] Malkin Informational [Page 7]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Basic Encoding Rules (BER) Standard rules for encoding data units described in ASN.1. Sometimes incorrectly lumped under the term ASN.1, which properly refers only to the abstract syntax description language, not the encoding technique. See also: Abstract Syntax Notation One. [Source: NNSC] BBS See: Bulletin Board System BCNU Be Seein' You BCP The newest subseries of RFCs which are written to describe Best Current Practices in the Internet. Rather than specifying a protocol, these documents specify the best ways to use the protocols and the best ways to configure options to ensure interoperability between various vendors' products. BCPs carry the endorsement of the IESG. See also: Request For Comments, Internet Engineering Steering Group. BER See: Basic Encoding Rules Berkeley Internet Name Daemon (BIND) Implementation of a DNS server developed and distributed by the University of California at Berkeley. Many Internet hosts run BIND, and it is the ancestor of many commercial BIND implementations. See also: Domain Name System. Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) Implementation of the UNIX operating system and its utilities developed and distributed by the University of California at Berkeley. "BSD" is usually preceded by the version number of the distribution, e.g., "4.3 BSD" is version 4.3 of the Berkeley UNIX distribution. Many Internet hosts run BSD software, and it is the ancestor of many commercial UNIX implementations. [Source: NNSC] BGP See: Border Gateway Protocol big-endian A format for storage or transmission of binary data in which the most significant bit (or byte) comes first. The term comes from "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift. The Lilliputians, being very small, had correspondingly small political problems. The Malkin Informational [Page 8]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Big-Endian and Little-Endian parties debated over whether soft- boiled eggs should be opened at the big end or the little end. See also: little-endian. [Source: RFC1208] binary 1.1001e+07 BIND See: Berkeley Internet Name Daemon Birds Of a Feather (BOF) A Birds Of a Feather (flocking together) is an informal discussion group. It is formed, often ad hoc, to consider a specific issue and, therefore, has a narrow focus. See also: Working Group. Bitnet An academic computer network that provides interactive electronic mail and file transfer services, using a store-and-forward protocol, based on IBM Network Job Entry protocols. Bitnet-II encapsulates the Bitnet protocol within IP packets and depends on the Internet to route them. BOF See: Birds Of a Feather BOOTP The Bootstrap Protocol, described in RFC 1542, is used for booting diskless nodes. See also: Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol, Reverse Address Resolution Protocol. Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) The Border Gateway Protocol is an exterior gateway protocol defined in RFC 1771. It's design is based on experience gained with EGP, as defined in RFC 904, and EGP usage in the NSFNET Backbone, as described in RFCs 1092 and 1093. See also: Exterior Gateway Protocol. bounce The return of a piece of mail because of an error in its delivery. [Source: ZEN] bridge A device which forwards traffic between network segments based on datalink layer information. These segments would have a common network layer address. See also: gateway, router. Malkin Informational [Page 9]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 broadband A transmission medium capable of supporting a wide range of frequencies. It can carry multiple signals by dividing the total capacity of the medium into multiple, independent bandwidth channels, where each channel operates only on a specific range of frequencies. See also: baseband. broadcast A special type of multicast packet which all nodes on the network are always willing to receive. See also: multicast, unicast. broadcast storm An incorrect packet broadcast onto a network that causes multiple hosts to respond all at once, typically with equally incorrect packets which causes the storm to grow exponentially in severity. See also: Ethernet meltdown. brouter A device which bridges some packets (i.e. forwards based on datalink layer information) and routes other packets (i.e. forwards based on network layer information). The bridge/route decision is based on configuration information. See also: bridge, router. BSD See: Berkeley Software Distribution BTW By The Way Bulletin Board System (BBS) A computer, and associated software, which typically provides electronic messaging services, archives of files, and any other services or activities of interest to the bulletin board system's operator. Although BBS's have traditionally been the domain of hobbyists, an increasing number of BBS's are connected directly to the Internet, and many BBS's are currently operated by government, educational, and research institutions. See also: Electronic Mail, Internet, Usenet. [Source: NWNET] Campus Wide Information System (CWIS) A CWIS makes information and services publicly available on campus via kiosks, and makes interactive computing available via kiosks, interactive computing systems and campus networks. Services routinely include directory information, calendars, bulletin boards, databases. Malkin Informational [Page 10]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 CCIRN See: Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Networks CCITT See: Comite Consultatif International de Telegraphique et Telephonique CERT See: Computer Emergency Response Team checksum A computed value which is dependent upon the contents of a packet. This value is sent along with the packet when it is transmitted. The receiving system computes a new checksum based upon the received data and compares this value with the one sent with the packet. If the two values are the same, the receiver has a high degree of confidence that the data was received correctly. See also: Cyclic Redundancy Check. [Source: NNSC] CIDR See: Classless Inter-domain Routing circuit switching A communications paradigm in which a dedicated communication path is established between two hosts, and on which all packets travel. The telephone system is an example of a circuit switched network. See also: connection-oriented, connectionless, packet switching. Classless Inter-domain Routing (CIDR) A proposal, set forth in RFC 1519, to allocate IP addresses so as to allow the addresses to be aggregated when advertised as routes. It is based on the elimination of intrinsic IP network addresses; that is, the determination of the network address based on the first few bits of the IP address. See also: IP address, network address, supernet. client A computer system or process that requests a service of another computer system or process. A workstation requesting the contents of a file from a file server is a client of the file server. See also: client-server model, server. [Source: NNSC] Malkin Informational [Page 11]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 client-server model A common way to describe the paradigm of many network protocols. Examples include the name-server/name-resolver relationship in DNS and the file-server/file-client relationship in NFS. See also: client, server, Domain Name System, Network File System. CNI See: Coalition for Networked Information Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) A consortium formed by American Research Libraries, CAUSE, and EDUCOM (no, they are not acronyms) to promote the creation of, and access to, information resources in networked environments in order to enrich scholarship and enhance intellectual productivity. Comite Consultatif International de Telegraphique et Telephonique ( CCITT) This organization is now part of the International Telecommunications Union and is responsible for making technical recommendations about telephone and data communications systems. Every four years CCITT holds plenary sessions where they adopt new standards; the most recent was in 1992. Recently, the ITU reorganized and CCITT was renamed the ITU-TSS. See also: International Telecommunications Union - Telecommunications Standards Sector. Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT) The CERT was formed by ARPA in November 1988 in response to the needs exhibited during the Internet worm incident. The CERT charter is to work with the Internet community to facilitate its response to computer security events involving Internet hosts, to take proactive steps to raise the community's awareness of computer security issues, and to conduct research targeted at improving the security of existing systems. CERT products and services include 24-hour technical assistance for responding to computer security incidents, product vulnerability assistance, technical documents, and tutorials. In addition, the team maintains a number of mailing lists (including one for CERT Advisories), and provides an anonymous FTP server, at "cert.org", where security-related documents and tools are archived. The CERT may be reached by email at "cert@cert.org" and by telephone at +1-412-268-7090 (24-hour hotline). See also: Advanced Research Projects Agency, worm. congestion Congestion occurs when the offered load exceeds the capacity of a data communication path. Malkin Informational [Page 12]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 connection-oriented The data communication method in which communication proceeds through three well-defined phases: connection establishment, data transfer, connection release. TCP is a connection-oriented protocol. See also: circuit switching, connectionless, packet switching, Transmission Control Protocol. connectionless The data communication method in which communication occurs between hosts with no previous setup. Packets between two hosts may take different routes, as each is independent of the other. UDP is a connectionless protocol. See also: circuit switching, connection-oriented, packet switching, User Datagram Protocol. Coordinating Committee for Intercontinental Research Networks (CCIRN) A committee that includes the United States FNC and its counterparts in North America and Europe. Co-chaired by the executive directors of the FNC and the European Association of Research Networks (RARE), the CCIRN provides a forum for cooperative planning among the principal North American and European research networking bodies. See also: Federal Networking Council, RARE. [Source: MALAMUD] core gateway Historically, one of a set of gateways (routers) operated by the Internet Network Operations Center at Bolt, Beranek and Newman (BBN). The core gateway system formed a central part of Internet routing in that all groups must advertise paths to their networks from a core gateway. [Source: MALAMUD] Corporation for Research and Educational Networking (CREN) This organization was formed in October 1989, when Bitnet and CSNET (Computer + Science NETwork) were combined under one administrative authority. CSNET is no longer operational, but CREN still runs Bitnet. See also: Bitnet. [Source: NNSC] cracker A cracker is an individual who attempts to access computer systems without authorization. These individuals are often malicious, as opposed to hackers, and have many means at their disposal for breaking into a system. See also: hacker, Computer Emergency Response Team, Trojan Horse, virus, worm. CRC See: cyclic redundancy check Malkin Informational [Page 13]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 CREN See: Corporation for Research and Educational Networking CU-SeeMe Pronnounced "See you, See me," CU-SeeMe is a publicly available videoconferencing program developed at Cornell University. It allows anyone with audio/video capabilites and an Internet connection to videoconference with anyone else with the same capabilities. It also allows multiple people to tie into the same videoconference. CWIS See: Campus Wide Information system Cyberspace A term coined by William Gibson in his fantasy novel Neuromancer to describe the "world" of computers, and the society that gathers around them. [Source: ZEN] Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC) A number derived from a set of data that will be transmitted. By recalculating the CRC at the remote end and comparing it to the value originally transmitted, the receiving node can detect some types of transmission errors. See also: checksum. [Source: MALAMUD] DANTE A non-profit company founded in July 1993 to help the European research community enhance their networking facilities. It focuses on the establishment of a high-speed computer network infrastructure. DARPA Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency See: Advanced Research Projects Agency Data Encryption Key (DEK) Used for the encryption of message text and for the computation of message integrity checks (signatures). See also: encryption. Data Encryption Standard (DES) A popular, standard encryption scheme. See also: encryption, Pretty Good Privacy, RSA. datagram A self-contained, independent entity of data carrying sufficient information to be routed from the source to the destination Malkin Informational [Page 14]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 computer without reliance on earlier exchanges between this source and destination computer and the transporting network. See also: frame, packet. [Source: J. Postel] DCA See: Defense Information Systems Agency DCE Data Circuit-terminating Equipment DCE See: Distributed Computing Environment DDN See: Defense Data Network DDN NIC See: Defense Data Network Network Information Center DECnet A proprietary network protocol designed by Digital Equipment Corporation. The functionality of each Phase of the implementation, such as Phase IV and Phase V, is different. default route A routing table entry which is used to direct packets addressed to networks not explicitly listed in the routing table. [Source: MALAMUD] Defense Data Network (DDN) A global communications network serving the US Department of Defense composed of MILNET, other portions of the Internet, and classified networks which are not part of the Internet. The DDN is used to connect military installations and is managed by the Defense Information Systems Agency. See also: Defense Information Systems Agency. Defense Data Network Network Information Center (DDN NIC) Previously called "The NIC", the DDN NIC's primary responsibility was the assignment of Internet network addresses and Autonomous System numbers, the administration of the root domain, and providing information and support services to the Internet for the DDN. Since the creation of the InterNIC, the DDN NIC performs these functions only for the DDN. See also: Autonomous System, network address, Internet Registry, InterNIC, Network Information Center, Request For Comments. Malkin Informational [Page 15]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 protocol converter A device/program which translates between different protocols which serve similar functions (e.g. TCP and TP4). Protocol Data Unit (PDU) "PDU" is internationalstandardscomitteespeak for packet. See also: packet. protocol stack A layered set of protocols which work together to provide a set of network functions. See also: layer, protocol. proxy ARP The technique in which one machine, usually a router, answers ARP requests intended for another machine. By "faking" its identity, the router accepts responsibility for routing packets to the "real" destination. Proxy ARP allows a site to use a single IP address with two physical networks. Subnetting would normally be a better solution. See also: Address Resolution Protocol [Source: RFC1208] PSN See: Packet Switch Node. PTT See: Postal, Telegraph and Telephone queue A backup of packets awaiting processing. RARE Reseaux Associes pour la Recherche Europeenne. See: Trans- European Research and Education Networking Association. RARP See: Reverse Address Resolution Protocol RBOC Regional Bell Operating Company Read The F*cking Manual (RTFM) This acronym is often used when someone asks a simple or common question. Read The Source Code (RTSC) This acronym is often used when a software developer asks a question about undocumented code. Malkin Informational [Page 46]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 reassembly The IP process in which a previously fragmented packet is reassembled before being passed to the transport layer. See also: fragmentation. recursive See: recursive regional See: mid-level network remote login Operating on a remote computer, using a protocol over a computer network, as though locally attached. See also: Telnet. Remote Procedure Call (RPC) An easy and popular paradigm for implementing the client-server model of distributed computing. In general, a request is sent to a remote system to execute a designated procedure, using arguments supplied, and the result returned to the caller. There are many variations and subtleties in various implementations, resulting in a variety of different (incompatible) RPC protocols. [Source: RFC1208] repeater A device which propagates electrical signals from one cable to another. See also: bridge, gateway, router. Request For Comments (RFC) The document series, begun in 1969, which describes the Internet suite of protocols and related experiments. Not all (in fact very few) RFCs describe Internet standards, but all Internet standards are written up as RFCs. The RFC series of documents is unusual in that the proposed protocols are forwarded by the Internet research and development community, acting on their own behalf, as opposed to the formally reviewed and standardized protocols that are promoted by organizations such as CCITT and ANSI. See also: BCP, FYI, STD. Reseaux IP Europeens (RIPE) A collaboration between European networks which use the TCP/IP protocol suite. Reverse Address Resolution Protocol (RARP) A protocol, defined in RFC 903, which provides the reverse function of ARP. RARP maps a hardware (MAC) address to an internet address. It is used primarily by diskless nodes when they first initialize to find their internet address. See also: Malkin Informational [Page 47]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Address Resolution Protocol, BOOTP, internet address, MAC address. RFC See: Request For Comments RFC 822 The Internet standard format for electronic mail message headers. Mail experts often refer to "822 messages." The name comes from RFC 822, which contains the specification. 822 format was previously known as 733 format. See also: Electronic Mail. [Source: COMER] RIP See: Routing Information Protocol RIPE See: Reseaux IP Europeenne Round-Trip Time (RTT) A measure of the current delay on a network. [Source: MALAMUD] route The path that network traffic takes from its source to its destination. Also, a possible path from a given host to another host or destination. routed Route Daemon. A program which runs under 4.2BSD/4.3BSD UNIX systems (and derived operating systems) to propagate routes among machines on a local area network, using the RIP protocol. Pronounced "route-dee". See also: Routing Information Protocol, gated. router A device which forwards traffic between networks. The forwarding decision is based on network layer information and routing tables, often constructed by routing protocols. See also: bridge, gateway, Exterior Gateway Protocol, Interior Gateway Protocol. routing The process of selecting the correct interface and next hop for a packet being forwarded. See also: hop, router, Exterior Gateway Protocol, Interior Gateway Protocol. routing domain A set of routers exchanging routing information within an administrative domain. See also: Administrative Domain, router. Malkin Informational [Page 48]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Routing Information Protocol (RIP) A distance vector, as opposed to link state, routing protocol. It is an Internet standard IGP defined in RFC 1058. See also: Interior Gateway Protocol, Open Shortest-Path First. RPC See: Remote Procedure Call RSA A public-key cryptographic system which may be used for encryption and authentication. It was invented in 1977 and named for its inventors: Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, and Leonard Adleman. See also: encryption, Data Encryption Standard, Pretty Good Privacy. RTFM See: Read The F*cking Manual RTSC See: Read The Source Code RTT See: Round-Trip Time SDH See: Synchronous Digital Hierarchy Serial Line IP (SLIP) A protocol used to run IP over serial lines, such as telephone circuits or RS-232 cables, interconnecting two systems. SLIP is defined in RFC 1055, but is not an Internet Standard. It is being replaced by PPP. See also: Point-to-Point Protocol. server A provider of resources (e.g. file servers and name servers). See also: client, Domain Name System, Network File System. SGML See: Standardized Generalized Markup Language SIG Special Interest Group signature The three or four line message at the bottom of a piece of email or a Usenet article which identifies the sender. Large signatures (over five lines) are generally frowned upon. See also: Electronic Mail, Usenet. Malkin Informational [Page 49]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP) A protocol used to transfer electronic mail between computers. It is specified in RFC 821, with extensions specified in many other RFCs. It is a server to server protocol, so other protocols are used to access the messages. See also: Electronic Mail, Post Office Protocol, RFC 822. Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) The Internet standard protocol developed to manage nodes on an IP network. The first version is defined in RFC 1157 (STD 15). SNMPv2 (version 2) is defined in too many RFCs to list. It is currently possible to manage wiring hubs, toasters, jukeboxes, etc. See also: Management Information Base. SLIP See: Serial Line IP SMDS See: Switched Multimegabit Data Service SMI See: Structure of Management Information SMTP See: Simple Mail Transfer Protocol SNA See: Systems Network Architecture snail mail A pejorative term referring to the U.S. postal service. SNMP See: Simple Network Management Protocol SONET See: Synchronous Optical NETwork Standardized Generalized Markup Language (SGML) An international standard for the definition of system- independent, device-independent methods of representing text in electronic form. See also: Hypertext Markup Language. STD A subseries of RFCs that specify Internet standards. The official list of Internet standards is in STD 1. See also: Request For Comments. Malkin Informational [Page 50]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 stream-oriented A type of transport service that allows its client to send data in a continuous stream. The transport service will guarantee that all data will be delivered to the other end in the same order as sent and without duplicates. See also: Transmission Control Protocol. [Source: MALAMUD] Structure of Management Information (SMI) The rules used to define the objects that can be accessed via a network management protocol. These rules are defined in RFC 1155 (STD 17). The acronym is pronounced "Ess Em Eye." See also: Management Information Base. .br [Source: RFC1208] stub network A stub network only carries packets to and from local hosts. Even if it has paths to more than one other network, it does not carry traffic for other networks. See also: backbone, transit network. subnet A portion of a network, which may be a physically independent network segment, which shares a network address with other portions of the network and is distinguished by a subnet number. A subnet is to a network what a network is to an internet. See also: internet, network. [Source: FYI4] subnet address The subnet portion of an IP address. In a subnetted network, the host portion of an IP address is split into a subnet portion and a host portion using an address (subnet) mask. See also: address mask, IP address, network address, host address. subnet mask See: address mask subnet number See: subnet address supernet An aggregation of IP network addresses advertised as a single classless network address. For example, given four Class C IP networks:,, and, each having the intrinsic network mask of; one can advertise the address with a subnet mask of See also: IP address, network address, network mask, Classless Inter-domain Routing. Malkin Informational [Page 51]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Switched Multimegabit Data Service (SMDS) An emerging high-speed datagram-based public data network service developed by Bellcore and expected to be widely used by telephone companies as the basis for their data networks. See also: Metropolitan Area Network. [Source: RFC1208] Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) The European standard for high-speed data communications over fiber-optic media. The transmission rates range from 155.52Mbps to 2.5Gbps. Synchronous Optical NETwork (SONET) SONET is an international standard for high-speed data communications over fiber-optic media. The transmission rates range from 51.84Mbps to 2.5Gbps. Systems Network Architecture (SNA) A proprietary networking architecture used by IBM and IBM- compatible mainframe computers. [Source: NNSC] T1 A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a DS-1 formatted digital signal at 1.544 megabits per second. T3 A term for a digital carrier facility used to transmit a DS-3 formatted digital signal at 44.746 megabits per second. [Source: FYI4] TAC See: Terminal Access Controller (TAC) talk A protocol which allows two people on remote computers to communicate in a real-time fashion. See also: Internet Relay Chat. TCP See: Transmission Control Protocol TCP/IP Protocol Suite Transmission Control Protocol over Internet Protocol. This is a common shorthand which refers to the suite of transport and application protocols which runs over IP. See also: IP, ICMP, TCP, UDP, FTP, Telnet, SMTP, SNMP. Malkin Informational [Page 52]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 TELENET The original name for what is now SprintNet. It should not be confused with the Telnet protocol or application program. Telnet Telnet is the Internet standard protocol for remote terminal connection service. It is defined in RFC 854 and extended with options by many other RFCs. TERENA See: Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association Terminal Access Controller (TAC) A device which was once used to connect terminals to the Internet, usually using dialup modem connections and the TACACS protocol. While the device is no longer in use, TACACS+ is a protocol in current use. terminal emulator A program that allows a computer to emulate a terminal. The workstation thus appears as a terminal to the remote host. [Source: MALAMUD] terminal server A device which connects many terminals to a LAN through one network connection. A terminal server can also connect many network users to its asynchronous ports for dial-out capabilities and printer access. See also: Local Area Network. Three Letter Acronym (TLA) A tribute to the use of acronyms in the computer field. See also: Extended Four Letter Acronym. Time to Live (TTL) A field in the IP header which indicates how long this packet should be allowed to survive before being discarded. It is primarily used as a hop count. See also: Internet Protocol. [Source: MALAMUD] TLA See: Three Letter Acronym TN3270 A variant of the Telnet program that allows one to attach to IBM mainframes and use the mainframe as if you had a 3270 or similar terminal. [Source: BIG-LAN] Malkin Informational [Page 53]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 token ring A token ring is a type of LAN with nodes wired into a ring. Each node constantly passes a control message (token) on to the next; whichever node has the token can send a message. Often, "Token Ring" is used to refer to the IEEE 802.5 token ring standard, which is the most common type of token ring. See also: 802.x, Local Area Network. topology A network topology shows the computers and the links between them. A network layer must stay abreast of the current network topology to be able to route packets to their final destination. [Source: MALAMUD] traceroute A program available on many systems which traces the path a packet takes to a destination. It is mostly used to debug routing problems between hosts. There is also a traceroute protocol defined in RFC 1393. Trans-European Research and Education Networking Association (TERENA) TERENA was formed in October 1994 by the merger of RARE and EARN to promote and participate in the development of a high quality international information and telecommunications infrastructure for the benefit of research and education. See also: Reseaux Associes pour la Recherche Europeenne, European Academic and Research Network. [Source: TERENA Statutes] transceiver Transmitter-receiver. The physical device that connects a host interface to a local area network, such as Ethernet. Ethernet transceivers contain electronics that apply signals to the cable and sense collisions. [Source: RFC1208] transit network A transit network passes traffic between networks in addition to carrying traffic for its own hosts. It must have paths to at least two other networks. See also: backbone, stub network. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) An Internet Standard transport layer protocol defined in RFC 793. It is connection-oriented and stream-oriented, as opposed to UDP. See also: connection-oriented, stream-oriented, User Datagram Protocol. Malkin Informational [Page 54]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Trojan Horse A computer program which carries within itself a means to allow the creator of the program access to the system using it. See also: virus, worm. TTFN Ta-Ta For Now TTL See: Time to Live tunnelling Tunnelling refers to encapsulation of protocol A within protocol B, such that A treats B as though it were a datalink layer. Tunnelling is used to get data between administrative domains which use a protocol that is not supported by the internet connecting those domains. See also: Administrative Domain. twisted pair A type of cable in which pairs of conductors are twisted together to produce certain electrical properties. UDP See: User Datagram Protocol unicast An address which only one host will recognize. See also: broadcast, multicast. Uniform Resource Locators (URL) A URL is a compact (most of the time) string representation for a resource available on the Internet. URLs are primarily used to retrieve information using WWW. The syntax and semantics for URLs are defined in RFC 1738. See also: World Wide Web. Universal Time Coordinated (UTC) This is Greenwich Mean Time. [Source: MALAMUD] UNIX-to-UNIX CoPy (UUCP) This was initially a program run under the UNIX operating system that allowed one UNIX system to send files to another UNIX system via dial-up phone lines. Today, the term is more commonly used to describe the large international network which uses the UUCP protocol to pass news and electronic mail. See also: Electronic Mail, Usenet. Malkin Informational [Page 55]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 urban legend A story, which may have started with a grain of truth, that has been embroidered and retold until it has passed into the realm of myth. It is an interesting phenonmenon that these stories get spread so far, so fast and so often. Urban legends never die, they just end up on the Internet! Some legends that periodically make their rounds include "The Infamous Modem Tax," "Craig Shergold/Brain Tumor/Get Well Cards," and "The $250 Cookie Recipe." [Source: LAQUEY] URL See: Uniform Resource Locators Usenet A collection of thousands of topically named newsgroups, the computers which run the protocols, and the people who read and submit Usenet news. Not all Internet hosts subscribe to Usenet and not all Usenet hosts are on the Internet. See also: Network News Transfer Protocol, UNIX-to-UNIX CoPy. [Source: NWNET] User Datagram Protocol (UDP) An Internet Standard transport layer protocol defined in RFC 768. It is a connectionless protocol which adds a level of reliability and multiplexing to IP. See also: connectionless, Transmission Control Protocol. UTC See: Universal Time Coordinated UUCP See: UNIX-to-UNIX CoPy uudecode A program which reverses the effect of uuencode. See also: uuencode. uuencode A program which reversibly converts a binary file in ASCII. It is used to send binary files via email, which generally does not allow (or garbles) the transmission of binary information. The original binary can be restored with uudecode. The encoding process generally creates an ASCII file larger than the original binary, so compressing the binary before running uuencode is highly recommended. Malkin Informational [Page 56]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Veronica A Gopher utility which effectively searches Gopher servers based on a user's list of keywords. The name was chosen to be a "mate" to another utility named "Archie." It later became an acronym for Very Easy Rodent Oriented Netwide Index to Computer Archives. See also: archie, Gopher. virtual circuit A network service which provides connection-oriented service without necessarily doing circuit-switching. See also: connection-oriented. virus A program which replicates itself on computer systems by incorporating itself into other programs which are shared among computer systems. See also: Trojan Horse, worm. W3 See: World Wide Web WAIS See: Wide Area Information Servers WAN See: Wide area network WebCrawler A WWW search engine. The aim of the WebCrawler Project is to provide a high-quality, fast, and free Internet search service. The WebCrawler may be reached at "http://webcrawler.com/". [Source: WebCrawler's "WebCrawler Facts"] WG See: Working Group white pages The Internet supports several databases that contain basic information about users, such as e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, and postal addresses. These databases can be searched to get information about particular individuals. Because they serve a function akin to the telephone book, these databases are often referred to as "white pages." See also: Knowbot, netfind, whois, X.500, InterNIC. whois An Internet program which allows users to query a database of people and other Internet entities, such as domains, networks, and hosts. The primary database is kept at the InterNIC. The Malkin Informational [Page 57]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 information stored includes a person's company name, address, phone number and email address. The latest version of the protocol, WHOIS++, is defined in RFCs 1834 and 1835. See also: InterNIC, white pages, Knowbot, netfind, X.500. Wide Area Information Servers (WAIS) A distributed information service which offers simple natural language input, indexed searching for fast retrieval, and a "relevance feedback" mechanism which allows the results of initial searches to influence future searches. Public domain implementations are available. See also: archie, Gopher, Prospero. Wide Area Network (WAN) A network, usually constructed with serial lines, which covers a large geographic area. See also: Local Area Network, Metropolitan Area Network. Working Group (WG) A working group, within the IETF, is a group of people who work under a charter to achieve a certain goal. That goal may be the creation of an Informational document, the creation of a protocol specification, or the resolution of problems in the Internet. Most working groups have a finite lifetime. That is, once a working group has achieved its goal, it disbands. There is no official membership for a working group. Unofficially, a working group member is somebody who is on that working group's mailing list; however, anyone may attend a working group meeting. See also: Internet Engineering Task Force, Birds Of a Feather. World Wide Web (WWW, W3) A hypertext-based, distributed information system created by researchers at CERN in Switzerland. Users may create, edit or browse hypertext documents. The clients and servers are freely available. worm A computer program which replicates itself and is self- propagating. Worms, as opposed to viruses, are meant to spawn in network environments. Network worms were first defined by Shoch & Hupp of Xerox in ACM Communications (March 1982). The Internet worm of November 1988 is perhaps the most famous; it successfully propagated itself on over 6,000 systems across the Internet. See also: Trojan Horse, virus. WRT With Respect To Malkin Informational [Page 58]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 WWW See: World Wide Web WYSIWYG What You See is What You Get X X is the name for TCP/IP based network-oriented window systems. Network window systems allow a program to use a display on a different computer. The most widely-implemented window system is X11 - a component of MIT's Project Athena. X.25 A data communications interface specification developed to describe how data passes into and out of public data communications networks. The CCITT and ISO approved protocol suite defines protocol layers 1 through 3. X.400 The CCITT and ISO standard for electronic mail. It is widely used in Europe and Canada. X.500 The CCITT and ISO standard for electronic directory services. See also: white pages, Knowbot, whois. XDR See: eXternal Data Representation Xerox Network System (XNS) A protocol suite developed by Xerox Corporation to run on LAN and WAN networks, where the LANs are typically Ethernet. Implementations exist for both Xerox's workstations and 4.3BSD, and 4.3BSD-derived, systems. XNS denotes not only the protocol stack, but also an architecture of standard programming interfaces, conventions, and service functions for authentication, directory, filing, email, and remote procedure call. XNS is also the name of Xerox's implementation. See also: Ethernet, Berkeley Software Distribution, Local Area Network, Wide Area Network. [Source: Jeff Hodges] XNS See: Xerox Network System Malkin Informational [Page 59]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 Yahoo! Yahoo! is a hierarchical subject-oriented guide for the World Wide Web and Internet. Yahoo! lists sites and categorizes them into appropriate subject categories. Yahoo! may be reached at "http://www.yahoo.com/". [Source: Yahoo's "What is Yahoo?"] Yellow Pages (YP) A historic (i.e., no longer in use) service used by UNIX administrators to manage databases distributed across a network. YP See: Yellow Pages zone A logical group of network devices. Malkin Informational [Page 60]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996 References BIG-LAN "BIG-LAN Frequently Asked Questions Memo", BIG-LAN DIGEST V4:I8, February 14, 1992. COMER Comer, Douglas, "Internetworking with TCP/IP: Principles, Protocols and Architecture", Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1991. FYI4 Malkin, G., A. Marine, "FYI on Questions and Answers: Answers to Commonly asked "New Internet User" Questions", RFC 1325 (FYI 4), Xylogics, SRI, May 1992. HACKER "THIS IS THE JARGON FILE", Version 2.9.8, January 1992. HPCC "Grand Challenges 1993: High Performance Computing and Communications", Committee on Physical, Mathmatical and Engineering Sciences of the Federal Coordinating Council for Science, Engineering and Technology. MALAMUD Malamud, Carl, "Analyzing Sun Networks", Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, NY, 1992. NNSC "NNSC's Hypercard Tour of the Internet". LAQUEY LaQuey, Tracy, with Jeanne C. Ryer, "The Internet Companion: A Beginner's Guide to Global Networking", Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1992. NWNET Kochmer, Jonathan, and NorthWestNet, "The Internet Passport: NorthWestNets Guide to Our World Online", NorthWestNet, Bellevue, WA, 1992. RFC1208 Jacobsen, O., D. Lynch, "A Glossary of Networking Terms", RFC 1208, Interop, Inc., March 1991. STD1 Postel, J., "INTERNET OFFICIAL PROTOCOL STANDARDS", RFC 1920 (STD 1), March 1996. STD2 Reynolds, J., J. Postel, "ASSIGNED NUMBERS", RFC 1700 (STD 2), ISI, October 1994. TAN Tanenbaum, Andrew S., "Computer Networks; 2nd ed.", Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ, 1989. ZEN Kehoe, Brendan P., "Zen and the Art of the Internet", February 1992. Malkin Informational [Page 61]
RFC 1983 Glossary August 1996

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