CMU CS Fox Project: FoxNet 1.0 Release

The Carnegie Mellon University Fox Project is concerned with advancing the state of the art in programming language design and implementation through the use of both mathematical techniques and applications to "real world" programming problems. To assess the utility of advanced languages the Fox project has undertaken to build an implementation of the TCP/IP network protocol suite in an extension of Standard ML based on the SML/NJ implementation. The architecture of the implementation incorporates many of the structuring principles developed for the University of Arizona x-kernel, which seeks to provide high-performance network services without sacrificing the modular structure of its implementation. In contrast to the x-kernel, however, these structuring principles are not implicit in the system code but instead are given full expression through the use of the Standard ML module system. In addition to paying careful attention to the structure of the Fox implementation of TCP/IP (called the FoxNet), the project has also made careful measurements of the performance (throughput and latency) of each level of the protocol stack.

The Fox project is pleased to announce the initial release of the FoxNet implementation of TCP/IP. FoxNet is implemented in FoxML, an extension of the Standard ML of New Jersey compiler, and requires Mach 3.0 running on a DecStation 5000. (It is expected that FoxNet 2.0 will also run on Dec Alphas under OSF/1.) The distribution consists of the FoxML compiler, the FoxNet source code, research papers pertinent to the Fox project, and performance measurements for the Fox 1.0 release. Recipients of this message are encouraged to browse the code and papers, even if you do not intend (or are unable) to run it.

The FoxNet 1.0 release is available via anonymous FTP from, directory "project/fox/foxnet.old", file "foxnet.94.09.19.tar.Z". This is a compressed archive file built using the Unix "compress" and "tar" commands. An uncompressed version "foxnet.94.09.19.tar" is also available, but as it is much larger we recommend that you fetch the compressed version.

The FoxNet implementation of TCP/IP is serving ICMP echoes from Readers are encouraged to try out FoxNet using the Unix "ping" command. (More sophisticated demonstration software is currently under development.)

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