[mailhist-discuss] Template for describing email software
Tom Van Vleck
thvv at multicians.org
Mon Jul 23 09:00:08 PDT 2012
On Jul 23, 2012, at 10:12 AM, Dave Crocker wrote:
> Any descriptions of early email software will be useful, but I am
> wondering whether it will help to have a basic questionnaire template.
> Such as:
> Type (eg, MUA, MTA, List, Service):
> Creation date:
> Development history:
It's hard to guess what future students of email history might want to know.
It might be worth adding a few more items to the template.
- Who is reporting this information and how do you know.
- Source of information: "based on personal recollection" vs "documented in Wikipedia by anonymous sources" vs "in a manual online at bitsavers.org" etc
- People who contributed to the software.
-- not all programs have a single "author." in some cases email function was a little part of a bigger thing and hard to apportion.
-- many roles: having the idea, writing the prototype, turning it into a service, making key extensions
-- ways to contact surviving people in case someone wants more info
- "creation" date may not be consistently defined. first clean compile? first message sent? first paying customer?
- along with the start dates, someone might be interested in how long email software remained in service, how many people used it, what the community was, etc.
- "language" got me thinking about what other environment features enabled creation of a piece of email software.
-- what libraries and platform support facilities it depended on
-- what network(s) were used
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