The enormous growth of the Internet has revealed problems of management and scaling in a large datagram based packet communication system. These problems are being addressed, and as a result there will be continuing evolution of the specifications described in this memo. New routing protocols, algorithms, and architectures are constantly being developed. New internet layer protocols, and modifications to existing protocols, are also constantly being devised. Routers play a crucial role in the Internet, and the number of routers deployed in the Internet is much smaller than the number of hosts. Vendors should therefore expect that router standards will continue to evolve much more quickly than host standards. These changes will be carefully planned and controlled since there is extensive participation in this planning by the vendors and by the organizations responsible for operation of the networks.
Development, evolution, and revision are characteristic of computer network protocols today, and this situation will persist for some years. A vendor who develops computer communications software for the Internet protocol suite (or any other protocol suite!) and then fails to maintain and update that software for changing specifications is going to leave a trail of unhappy customers. The Internet is a large communication network, and the users are in constant contact through it. Experience has shown that knowledge of deficiencies in vendor software propagates quickly through the Internet technical community.