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Comments from Frankston, Reed, and Friends

Thursday, April 18, 2002

DPR at 2:51 PM [url]:

Architecture is Economics.

I've been saying for a while now that "Architecture is Economics" (a play on an older phrase "architecture is politics"). More and more, I've come to believe that in our information economy, most of the economic value is indeed controlled by architecture. So:

I just posted a new page on my web site that contains a lot of information about my interest in Open Spectrum.

Also just posted a new recommendation on my books page for a great new business book about how platforms can be used to create value, called Platform Leadership by Gawer and Cusumano.

DPR at 9:47 AM [url]:

Useful rant on end-to-end argument

My old friend J. Noel Chiappa just wrote a great rant, applying and interpreting the end-to-end argument.

It captures something I have been trying to point out for a long time that resulted from people equating the end-to-end argument with the metaphor of a "dumb" (Gilder) or "stupid" (Isenberg) network. That metaphor is limited to the view of the network from the customers' point of view (the network doesn't do me "smart" favors), but is wrong when applied to the internal "as built" view of the network. It's worth devoting lots of computation and state to routing, etc. as long as that computation isn't specialized to a subset of the possible applications. I had thought our original paper on end-to-end arguments was quite clear about this, but the point is obviously subtle and has been hard to grasp, especially for people who came to the Internet long after the late '70's when Noel and I were involved.

Though Noel's audience is primarily network designers, I think his rant is accessible to anyone interested in Internet design. And I strongly believe understanding the end-to-end argument remains relevant. Feel free to send comments to me and/or Noel.

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