First Northern Germany DECnet Party

Paul Koning Paul_Koning at
Fri Aug 22 09:27:38 CDT 2008

>>>>> "der" == der Mouse <mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG> writes:

 >>> Contrary to what's often written, DECnet always was an open
 >>> protocol, which everyone was free to implement.
 >> Very true.

 der> Speaking of which, what's the current DECnet phase?  I have some
 der> DECnot docs for Phase IV which I fetched in 2001, but before I
 der> start doing anything with them I'd like to make sure they're the
 der> latest.

Phase IV is the one that was all over the place.  It comes in some
small variants.  I forgot the details of that; one of them was
intended to avoid the setting of the Ethernet MAC address, to allow it
to work with 802.5 NICs that didn't support this.

A copy from 2001 would certainly be current.  They are probably IV,
not IV+, but that's fine, the two interoperate and I doubt IV+ gets
you anything extra that matters.

There's Phase V, also known as DECnet/OSI.  That did get implemented
on VMS, perhaps also on DEC's Unix, but nowhere else.  And it was a
commercial failure -- didn't offer anything useful over Phase IV, and
wasted many years within DEC while TCP/IP won the race instead. 

The Phase IV specs were published and still exist on-line (along with
some Phase III specs, which were also published).  The intent was to
do the same with the Phase V protocol specs, but as far as I can tell
that never happened.  It's possibly they still exist somewhere on a
backup tape.  (If so, making readable copies would be tricky -- most
of them were created with DECwrite (I think that's the name -- the X
app derived from an old snapshot of FrameMaker).


More information about the cctalk mailing list