TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2:
The Implementation

Gary R. Wright + W. Richard Stevens

Addison-Wesley 1995
A book review by Danny Yee © 1995
As presentations of the TCP/IP protocols, the first volumes of Stevens' TCP/IP Illustrated and Comer's Internetworking with TCP/IP are evenly matched. When it comes to TCP/IP implementations, however, the second volume of TCP/IP Illustrated has a definite edge on the second volume of Internetworking with TCP/IP. For one thing, it describes a real implementation — the 4.4BSD-Lite (Net 3) code — rather than a "toy" one, and it covers it in far greater detail. While Comer and Stevens included chapters on SNMP clients and servers, and on implementation of the RIP and OSPF routing algorithms, Wright and Stevens restrict themselves to TCP/IP "proper", providing separate chapters on topics such as SLIP and ethernet drivers, IGMP, and packet filtering. With almost twice as many pages, the extra depth is hardly surprising, but since most people will use it as a reference rather than reading it cover to cover (I have read only four of the thirty two chapters in full), I don't think the length has any disadvantages.

The promise of the "illustrated" in the title is fulfilled with diagrams showing the relationships between different functions, lists of global variables, diagrams of the data structures used, and a complete code listing. It's still not easy reading, but it's a darn sight more fun than looking at the raw code. Exercises are provided at the end of each chapter, with some solutions in an appendix.

June 1995

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Related reviews:
- W. Richard Stevens - TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 1: The Protocols
- W. Richard Stevens - TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 3: TCP for Transactions, HTTP, NNTP, and the UNIX Domain Protocols
- books about networking
- books published by Addison-Wesley
%T TCP/IP Illustrated, Volume 2
%S The Implementation
%A Wright, Gary R.
%A Stevens, W. Richard
%I Addison-Wesley
%D 1995
%O hardcover, exercises, solutions, bibliography, index
%G ISBN 020163354X
%P xxii,1174pp