Monday, September 25, 2006

Review of The TCP/IP Guide Posted

Amazon.com just posted my 4 star review of The TCP/IP Guide. From the review:

Right away I must state that I did not read "The TCP/IP Guide" (TTG) cover-to-cover. I doubt anyone will, which raises interesting issues. This review is based on the sections I did read and my comparisons with other protocol books.

Protocol books should be divided into two eras. The first is the "Stevens era" meaning those written around the time Richard Stevens' "TCP/IP Illustrated, Vol 1: The Protocols" was published. For six years (1994-2000) Stevens' book was clearly the best protocol book, and it taught legions of networking pros TCP/IP. The second is the "modern era," beginning in 2000 and continuing to today. TTG fits in this group.

I question the approach taken by TTG. The book contains extremely basic information (what is networking, why use layers, what is a protocol, etc.) and extremely obscure information (PPP Link Control Protocol Frame Types and Fields, SNMPv2 PDU Error Status Field Values, Interpretation of Standard Telnet NVT ASCII Control Codes, etc.). If TTG were an introductory book, it wouldn't need the obscure material. If TTG were a reference, it wouldn't need the introductory material.


At 1616 pages and nearly 5 pounds, we should be dropping these books out of B-2s!

2 comments:

Network Fortius said...

I like a lot your comment about "era". Thinking from this perspective I realized I have personally categorized them in Stevens-era (amazing book - this is the most [book]marked/highlighted one from my entire CS graduate program, then my professional life and still used as a reference ;)) and Comer's one(s).

Would you be able to provide more examples of your favorite ones, in each category?

Thanks,
Stefan

Richard Bejtlich said...

Check the five categories on my reading pgae. They need to be updated but there are good books listed there.

Also check my favorite 10 books from the past 10 years if you like.