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The Elements of Networking Style: And Other Essays & Animadversions on the Art of Intercomputer Networking Paperback – April 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Backinprint.Com (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595088791
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595088799
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,756,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

M. A. Padlipsky comes by his interests in technology and aesthetics honestly, having majored in English and Applied Math at MIT. Dropping out of grad school in English, he dropped into programming and onto the research staff at MIT. Getting Multics onto the ARPANET led to becoming an Old Networking Boy, and that led to this book

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By P. Salus on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
When ``Elements'' came out in 1985, I loved it. I referred to it as my favourite book critiquing networking in 1995. And I have mourned the fact that Prentice Hall let it go out of print. Padlipsky's essays are pungent and acerbic; he is opinionated and hilarious. If you want to know what's wrong with X.25 or why OSI failed, Padlipsky will let you know. A wonderful book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Khun Yee Fung on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
I bought this book almost 11 years ago. I was on the Internet for about 2 years by that time. I was always intrigued by how the designers of the protocol suite designed the protocols for the Internet. I thought the book would tell me something about that.
Unfortunately, I did not understand most of the book. Not because the book isn't any good, but because I did not know enough to take advantage of the book. Still, I always remembered the author's opposition to X.25 and OSI.
The funny thing is, I went on to program X.25, OSI, and TCP/IP for a large telecom equipment company. I have to admit I totally agreed with the author by the end of my experience in that company.
I picked up the book again yesterday, thinking that maybe I would learn something more this time. Sure enough, every page and every paragraph is such a treat. I did not know it would take me 8 years of being in the networking industry to understand the book fully.
So, I heartily recommend this book to anybody who is even remotely connected to network programming. You don't have to agree with the author. But he does have a few points worth knowing.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chris A. Cunningham on November 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bought this book in 1985 when I was hip-deep in implementing the very protocols he writes against. It had a major impact on my thinking about protocols for the next 15 years and helped lead me out of the morass. Even when I did work on OSI protocols I was able to use the ideas to, hopefully, write a little cleaner and better than I would have otherwise.
The current architecture of computer internetworking is philosophically based on the ideas he presents. Without these ideas being so widely propagated we would live in a world dominated by X.25, X.400, and large vendors proprietary implementations of politically written "standards".
Thanks to MAP for writing it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on January 7, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Elements of Networking Style" is an interesting classic in the area of networking. Originally published in 1985, the book contains a collection of papers which were published in several conferences. All papers relate to networking and most of them related to the Arpanet Reference Model (ARM) vs the OSI model. The book is not too easy to read, but incredibly funny and thoughtful though.

The book contains 11 chapters and 3 difference prefaces :) The first chapter discusses different styles in networks. It mentions prescriptive and descriptive styles and how OSI is a prescriptive style wheras ARM is more descriptive where the protocols got written to describe the successful implementation. Chapter 2 introduces the OSI model (really quick) and chapter 3 is the chapter after which the book got named, which discusses virtualization vs emulation and describes a how the telnet protocol has gone for a virtualization approach. Chapter 5 discusses the ARM model (in contrast with the OSI model). Chapter 6 and 11 are about the only chapters that don't attack the OSI model but bring different ideas: that of H-FE Protocol (an idea that doesn't seem very relevant anymore) and the discussion about a secure packet network.

The style in which this book is written is hilarious and probably different than any other technical book you read. The author himself calls it "constructively snotty". The author is very direct and not very sensitive ;P in his opinion about the OSI model, though he does come with good arguments (though, repeats the same arguments a bit too often). The book is especially interesting in historical perspective as it describes a world in which TCP/IP was 'officially' threatened by the OSI model and the X.25 protocol.
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