[mailhist-discuss] Definition of email

Dave Crocker dcrocker at gmail.com
Thu Jun 7 01:11:50 PDT 2012

On 6/5/2012 9:01 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
> Someday, electronic mail might be invented.  It hasn't happened yet.

Jack's note nicely highlights the challenge we face, in distinguishing 
between the abstract ideal versus something less lofty but more current 
and (widely) used.

We have two definitions offered:


       Electronic mail is a service provided by computer programs to send
unstructured textual messages of about the same length as paper letters 
from the account of one user to recipients' personal electronic 
mailboxes, where they are stored for later retrieval.

    Crocker, as modified:

       An electronic message (email) is a collection of data, packaged 
to specify one or more authors, addressed to one or more recipients and 
stored for later access by recipients.

(While Jack's note provides some nice background and guidance, I 
couldn't extract an actual definition.)

Although related, the definitions have significant differences.

Can we get some discussion seeking to converge on a single definition?

  Dave Crocker

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