RFC 791, "Internet Protocol", September 1981Source of RFC: Legacy
Area Assignment: int
Errata ID: 2519
Status: Held for Document Update
Reported By: Yaakov (J) Stein
Date Reported: 2010-09-14
Held for Document Update by: ron bonica
Section 3.1 says:
Total Length is the length of the datagram, measured in octets, including internet header and data.
It should say:
Total Length is the length of the datagram or fragment, measured in octets, including internet header and data.
Section 2.3 makes it clear that during fragmentation the total length field is corrected to the length of the fragment. Wording such as "break a datagram into an almost arbitrary number of pieces" implies that "datagram" means the entire original packet. Thus, without the proposed correction, one may be led to believe that the total length contains the length of the original datagram.