[e2e] Nature mag, DARPA, and the Internet

Dave Crocker dhc2 at dcrocker.net
Sun Aug 10 09:52:35 PDT 2003


DPR> I believe that the major contribution of ARPANET email was in standardizing
DPR> addressing and contents across systems.

Adding to your list:

The simplicity of the FTP MAIL command is deceptive. It's easy to miss
its importance, which made it so easy to become a member of the Arpanet
messaging community. (There are a number of examples of getting an email
protocol wrong, by being too complicated, so we do have an objective
basis for claiming that the simplicity of the Arpanet protocol approach
was essential.)

Standardizing headers -- and with respect to this discussion, this was
the pre-RFC733 de facto standardization -- meant that software could
process lots of information automatically.  The Answer/Reply function is
the most spectacular example of this.  The RFC733 work was prompted by
needing more of this standardization than was happening organically.

 Dave Crocker <mailto:dcrocker at brandenburg.com>
 Brandenburg InternetWorking <http://www.brandenburg.com>
 Sunnyvale, CA  USA <tel:+1.408.246.8253>, <fax:+1.866.358.5301>

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