by Darius Kazemi, Jan 13 2019

In 2019 I'm reading one RFC a day in chronological order starting from the very first one. More on this project here. There is a table of contents for all my RFC posts.

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:

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.

Further reading

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.

How to follow this blog

You can subscribe to this blog's RSS feed or if you're on a federated ActivityPub social network like Mastodon or Pleroma you can search for the user “@365-rfcs@write.as” and follow it there.

About me

I'm Darius Kazemi. I'm a Mozilla Fellow and I do a lot of work on the decentralized web with both ActivityPub and the Dat Project.