History of the April 1 RFC

This episode of the History of Networking is a little different. Because it is the first of April, we have a roundtable of several April 1 RFC authors discussing their work, and a short discussion on the history of the April 1 RFC series. The authors we have on the episode are Donald Eastlake, RFC3092, the Etymology of Foo; Richard Hay, RFC5841, TCP Option to Denote Packet Mood; Carlos Pignataro and Joe Clarke, RFC6593, Service Undiscovery Using Hide-and-Go-Seek for the Domain Pseudonym System; Carlos Pignataro, RFC6592, The Null Packet; and Ross Callon, RFC1925, The Twelve Networking Truths.



  1. Dave Crocker on 2 April 2020 at 9:47 pm

    I once drafted an April 1 RFC that specified how to do IP over email. Jon Postel rejected it, noting that it did not reconcile the addressing used for the upper-layer IP with that done at the lower-layer IP, which email would be running over. After I got done sputtering, I said “but it’s an April 1 RFC”. Jon responded that it was a specification and it needed to be able to work…

    • Russ on 5 April 2020 at 10:37 pm

      I don’t know… if IPv6 over Avian Carrier works, I think IPv6 over email would be perfectly fine. It could even be made to be “readable” in some way, like those old time encoded letters where every fifth letter is part of the message, some sort of automatic generation mechanism for the words like the buzzword creator…

      • Dave Crocker on 5 April 2020 at 10:44 pm

        The IP over Avian Carriers spec actually worked, as was later documented rather spectacularly. Jon was correct that might spec did not deal with encapsulated IP over IP (independent of the mediating email layer.)