Specifically referring to this question: What kind of networking protocols might have been in use before ARPANET?

Would this be considered on topic on this site?

Keep in mind this previous meta question as well: Historical questions: Yes or no?


I would have to say this is off topic on this site, similar to this question: How was the 1965 WAN connection between two computers different than the packet-switched ARPANET?

This fails our previous criteria on historical questions on both points:

  • The question "what kind of networking protocols might have been in use before ARPANET" is too open ended to provide a "concise, accurate, and fact based answer". It is too much like a poll.
  • The question is ultimately completely irrelevant to modern networking. Any experimental or research protocol that may have been used prior to ARPANET has no bearing on networking today.

Just because two devices can use some means of communicating with each other does not make the means of communication a "network protocol" or relevant to modern networking. If it did, we would have to make room for discussions about Pantelegraphs and other such devices as well, which while I do personally find fascinating in many respects would be silly to include here as on topic.


While the question to which you refer is interesting and thought provoking, I just don't see how that question, or an answer to it, relates to what it says on the Help/On-Topic page, "Network Engineering Stack Exchange is for asking questions about professionally managed networks in a business environment."

I also agree that the answer(s) to this question would be too open-ended. We could end up listing every communication method prior to Arpanet.

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