by Darius Kazemi, Jan 13 2019
End of file
RFC-13 is by Vint Cerf. It's called “Zero Text Length EOF Message” and is dated August 20th 1969.
Vint Cerf is I think our most famous participant in these RFCs so far. Of all the names I've named here, he is probably the person who an average web developer today might have heard of. He's not a household name like a Bill Gates or Steve Jobs but for a non-billionaire he is pretty high profile! Probably for a few reasons:
- After his ARPANET work he went on to be instrumental in the civilian internet that we all use
- Was and is heavily involved in various important technical organizations. These include ICANN, IETF, the Internet Society, the ACM, and so on
- He is still actively authoring RFCs! Mostly recently he's listed as co-author on RFC-7934 from 2016
- He gets around to conferences, does a lot of speaking and generally is a kind of “face” of the internet, most recently as Google's “Chief Internet Evangelist”, a position he got in 2005 and I believe continues to hold
Of course, at the time he authored RFC-13 he was a grad student at UCLA!
The technical content
This is a very simple addendum to RFC-11 that says there ought to be a way to designate that the file you're sending over the network has reached its end. This proposes sending an empty message to communicate that to a receiving HOST.
RFC-11 tells us what an end-of-transmission message looks like but not end-of-file, so yeah, this addendum seems needed. An empty message seems like a bad idea? But who am I to question Vint Cerf.
I recommending just searching the web for Cerf because there is a lot out there! This Wired interview from when he was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame (which is a thing I guess exists??) might be a decent place to start.