Jon Postel

Jonathan " Jon" Bruce Postel, IPA: [ pə'stɛl ] ( born August 6, 1943 in Altadena, California, † October 16, 1998 in Santa Monica ) was an American computer scientist and pioneer of the Internet, for whose development he, in particular in regard to standards, numerous significant contributions made ​​.


Jon Postel graduated with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Chemical Engineering ( 1966 and 1968) and earned his Doctor of Philosophy in computer science in 1974, all from the University of California, Los Angeles.

While studying at the University of California, Los Angeles, he was involved as an assistant at the ARPAnet. Later he went to the Information Sciences Institute of the University of Southern California, where he spent the rest of his professional life.

He is best known as the editor of Postel Request for Comments (RFC ), a role he held for almost thirty years. During this time he wrote over 200 RFC itself, including such fundamental as RFC 791 to RFC 793 (IP, ICMP and TCP) and RFC 2223 ( Instructions to RFC Authors ).

Perhaps his best-known legacy comes from RFC 793, which includes the robustness principle and often as Postel's Law is referred to: "be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others " ( " be conservative in what you do, be tolerant in what you accept from others " often formulated as " be conservative in what you send, be tolerant in what you receive ").

In the series of RFC him a virtual memorial stone was placed after his death with the RFC 2468 by Vint Cerf.

Postel was a founding member of the Internet Architecture Board ( IAB), first individual member of the Internet Society and part of its Board of Trustees.

He also initiated the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) and stood her from the beginning until his death as a director before. Among other advantages, Postel held a very important position for the Internet, but the public was rather unknown. With his bushy beard, long hair and a friendly nature but he helped shape the image of the Internet community in a positive way to the outside.

The Postel Service Award of the Internet Society as well as the Postel Center at Information Sciences Institute (ISI ) was named in his honor.

For his work on the development of the Internet, he was awarded shortly before his death with the Silver Medal of the International Telecommunication Union ( ITU) - a distinction that is usually reserved for heads of state.

He died of complications after heart surgery in Los Angeles on October 16, 1998.