Four Laws of Network Protocols

After fiddling with my LDAP server (which now serves NetBSD and new style Mac OS X auto mounter maps) for several hours I realised that I should finally write down my four laws of network protocols:

  1. Network protocols which have simple in their name are not simple.
  2. Network protocols which have lightweight in their name are anything but lightweight.
  3. Network protocols which have neither simple nor lightweight in their name are still not simple and probably also not lightweight.
  4. If you can use a network protocol by typing a request into Netcat the protocol is treacherous because it appears to be simple but really isn’t.

If you keep this in mind the nasty problems you will experience with various network protocols will at least not come as a complete surprise. 🙂