Networking notes for readers of Computer Networking - Principles, Protocols and Practice

Networking education has changed a lot during the last twenty years. When a was still a student, before the invention of the web, students learned most from the explanations of their professors and teachning assistants. Additional information was available in scientific librairies, but few students could access it. Today’s students live in a completely different world. Computer networks and the Internet in particular have completely changed our society. Students have access to much more information that I could imagine when I was a student. Wikipedia provides lots of useful information, Internet drafts, RFCs and many scientific articles and open-source software are within the reach of all students provided that they understand the basics that enable them to navigate through this deluge of information.

The proliferation of information has changed our role as professors. We cannot simply explain protocols, algorithms and other technological artefacts to our students. We need to ensure that our students will have the skills that enabled them to navigate through today’s amundant information and identify the good ideas from the bad ones.

In July 2012, I created a Facebook page dedicated to Computer Networking: Principles, Protocols and Practice to distribute to students information about new protocols, software, measurements, etc. that relate to the evolution of the networking field in general. I’ve posted news and pointers on a regular basis on this Facebook page but over the years, I became more and more frustrated by Facebook’s walled garden approach and all their attempts to monetize even a web page about a non-profit open-source ebook. Furthemore, Facebook’s algorithms select who will see each content to maximise their advertisement revenue. This implies that when someone likes the ebook’s Facebook page, there is no guarantee that he/she will see the information posted on the group.

It’s time to go back to pure web based services. Starting from the 2017-2018 academic year, all posts related to Computer Networking: Principles, Protocols and Practice will appear on Pointers will be posted on the Facebook page, but readers are strongly encouraged to use RSS readers to follow the posts instead of spending so much time on Facebook and other walled gardens…

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Written on September 19, 2017