[mailhist-discuss] FW: SIGCIS in Boston Magazine profile of "email inventor"

Terry Gray gray at uw.edu
Mon Jun 4 07:48:14 PDT 2012

I agree that the async nature of email is an important element to include,
in order to distinguish it from chat or synchronous conferencing, e.g.
BBN's PLANET system of the mid-70s.

To Craig's point, I don't think whether or not the recipient saw the
recipient names detracts from Dave's point:  the sender had to specify
them, and that was an important differentiator from a document sitting on
an ftp server...


On Sun, Jun 3, 2012 at 2:21 PM, Tom Van Vleck <thvv at multicians.org> wrote:

> On Jun 3, 2012, at 8:31 AM, Dave Crocker wrote:
> > This reminds that we should settle on a working definition of email.
> >
> > There was some background discussion for Ton's article intended to be
> > published  in the Post, and I'll let him re-post it here.
> >
> > I'll offer my own:
> >
> >     An electronic message (email) is a collection of data, packaged to
> > specify one or more authors and specifying one or more recipients.
> >
> > I think the concept of authors and recipients is primary.  Otherwise,
> > it's a document.  I don't think the nature of the content matters nor
> > that any other meta-data like Subject are essential.  (I've previously
> > done some design that mapped between 'email' and 'document' and found it
> > useful for both.  This derived from efforts in collaboration space.)
> In the old days we used to emphasize that mail was stored for later
> reading, as opposed to immediate terminal-to-terminal messages.
> You could only message users who were online at the same time you were,
> while a recipient could read mail later.
> regards, tom
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