[mailhist-discuss] Definition of email

Terry Gray gray at uw.edu
Thu Jun 7 07:55:20 PDT 2012

In the spirit of compromise, here is a potential hybrid:

Electronic mail (Email) is a service provided by computer programs to send
 messages from the user of one computer account to the personal mailbox(es)
of others for later retrieval.  An electronic mail message consists of
packaged data, analogous to a physical letter, from one or more authors to
one or more recipients.


On Thu, Jun 7, 2012 at 1:11 AM, Dave Crocker <dcrocker at gmail.com> wrote:

> 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:
>    Haigh:
>       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?
> d/
> --
>  Dave Crocker
>  bbiw.net
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