As far as I'm concerned, both Al Gore and Vint Cerf can be fathers of the Internet; it's just that they can't get married in most states. This crazy bastard child we all know and love really did cause a paradigm shift by shrinking the world. When it comes down to it, the Internet is a pile of money and equipment combined with a bunch of standards and peering agreements; if that's not love, I don't know what is.

However, all is not well. Equipment gets old and money dries up. Bugs and clever coding can stop standards in their tracks. Peers don't always play nicely. Some people might blame the Internet's family, but it has a lot of baggage.

That's why Steve is so gentle when he removes network code from projects he is maintaining. "Here's a function I removed from some code I was updating. I don't know who wrote it, but my colleagues and I had a definite WTF moment as we tried to count the number of things wrong with this function (other than that it shouldn't have existed at all)."


  BOOL IsIpAddressZero( LONG lIpAddress )
      return  (
              (ntohl(lIpAddress)>>24) & 0xFF |
              (ntohl(lIpAddress)>>16) & 0xFF |
              (ntohl(lIpAddress)>> 8) & 0xFF |
              (ntohl(lIpAddress)>> 0) & 0xFF


Please be kind to this function; let the healing begin.