|WikiProject Computing / Networking||(Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)|
I would very much like to see the "Protocol Stack" entry remain. Even though I've heard this term and communications protocol terms bantered about frequently, I didn't know they were essentially identical. It's also a good, basic explanation that shows how the "stack" analogy comes into play.
I agree that the idea of a protocol stack deserves separate mention from a communications protocol. A protocol stack, as a software artifact, is distinct from the communications protocol itself, which is just an idea or set of an ideas. The bigger problem with the article is that it is poorly written and as a result unclear, and the ascii-art diagram does little to help matters. 126.96.36.199 14:24, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
I too agree; it should remain, but it needs improvement. The word "stack" is operative. Further, there need not exist a protocol stack in very simple devices employing communications protocols, therefore to merge it with "Communications Protocol" would require someone to write a pre-qualifying opening sentence for the subsection...which would only beg the question, "Why not separate them again?" Lastly "Protocol Stack" is self-explanatory enough to be good hook as "See Also" reference inside the "Communications Protocol" article with little or no embellishment.
+1 from me. To me, the key idea of a stack -- which a "communication protocol" discussion need not necessarily cover -- is the pluggability of the different layers. E.g. the article could have a simple example alongside the HTTP/TCP/IP/Ethernet one, showing how a HTTP/TLS/TCP/IP/Ethernet use case reuses all the protocols from the first stack and adds one new element to stack providing security. Another example could show HTTP/TCP/IP/<foo> (where <foo> could be IEEE802.16, PPP, or many other layer 2 protocols), because that's a really powerful feature of protocol stacks -- IP is the waist in the Internet's hourglass figure, which allows traffic like HTTP to travel not just several layers above Ethernet in LANs, but also over phone networks, cable networks and wireless networks. The "Internet Protocol Suite" page discusses some of this, but this "Protocol Stack" page offers the ability to discuss even more generally, so perhaps the most important example of all, to contrast with the HTTP/TCP/IP/Ethernet example, would be an example of a stack from a completely different networking envioronment. An example would be the GSM protocol stack described at <http://www.networkdictionary.com/wireless/gsm.php>. -- Lisa / 188.8.131.52 18:57, 15 November 2006 (UTC)
http://www.personalinfocloud.com/2008/01/the-elements-in.html defines a "stack" to be a "a collection of elements that comprise a whole set of services," and yesterday Linus Torvalds in an interview panning Leopard said "Software is really expensive to produce and takes years. If you're a hardware company you can't really afford that, you either have to be controlled from the outside or take a pre-existing software stack that you can make changes to." If this is really an emerging new use of the term "stack", generalizing the natural concept of a protocol stack, is it time to update this article to reflect it? Or are these just isolated instances of a usage that may not go anywhere? --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 00:05, 7 February 2008 (UTC)