[mailhist-discuss] Beginning to record the timeline: a very rough draft

John Vittal jjvittal at earthlink.net
Fri May 11 07:52:02 PDT 2012

Hi Dave,

Thanks for doing this.  I took a quick look and thought I'd give a 
little food for thought before I delve more deeply into the real 
content, which might be a while.

My initial reaction is that I think that the "when" column needs some 
more information, or (at least) two columns (e.g. when developed, 
when put into service, when publicly released).

For example, MSG was developed in 1974.  My friends at ISI, PARC, and 
Arpa were using it then.  But, it was "announced" to the "public" via 
MSGGROUP in 1975.  (Citations are my original MSG paper in Ron 
Uhlig's book, Craig's Annals paper, and the MSGGROUP archives.) 
People (like Katie Hafner) got the 1975 date by perusing the archive, 
and I didn't catch it when I read a draft of that chapter.

Also, for example, 733 was released in 1977, but its development 
started in 1975 when our subcommittee was formed, and there were 
interim products (e.g. 680) before we released the "final, 
definitive" one.

I'll peruse the rest of the list more carefully than I have a chance 
and get back to you.


At 1:37 PM -0700 5/10/12, Dave Crocker wrote:
>I've drafted an initial version of the timeline, based on everyone's
>comments to the list.  (Sorry for the long lag time.)
>It is at:
>     http://emailhistory.org/Email-Timeline-00dc.html
>Here's the intro at it's top.  Please note the request at the end of the
>second paragraph:
>>  Email Milestones Timeline
>>  EmailHistory.org (dcrocker, ed.)
>>  5/10/2012 1:10 PM / DRAFT
>>  This list is a developing record of major achievements in the history
>>  of electronic mail. It is being produced through open discussions at
>>  emailhistory.org. Major milestones are of many types, ranging from
>>  basic functionality to operational enhancement. Anything that the
>>  might have been noteworthy breakthrough is a candidate for inclusion.
>>  Community rough consensus will be the arbiter.
>>  As editor, I have taken the liberty of guessing at some of data. If
>>  there's a question mark, it means I'm not even close to sure that the
>>  guess is right. Even without a question mark, the list is certain to
>>  have errors and omissions. The goal, now, is for brainstorming,
>>  research and discussion. Do post comments, corrections and additions
>>  to the mailing list. Please be gentle.
>>  I've added the 'type' column to distinguish among categories of
>>  milestones. There is not (yet) consensus to include this column of
>>  information in the timeline, but I took editor's prerogative for the
>>  current version. I believe it aids in dealing with scaling; There are
>>  many milestones and being able to look at subsets within categories
>>  is likely to make discussion more tractable and it is certain to make
>>  reading more tractable for those being introduced to the timeline
>>  (when presented as a layered timeline.)
>>  So:
>>  Distinguish: UA vs. MTA vs. Systems architecture vs, ? Distinguish:
>>  Invention vs. Commercialization vs. Standardization ("invention"
>>  means first demonstration or documentation)
>   Dave Crocker
>   Brandenburg InternetWorking
>   bbiw.net
>mailhist-discuss mailing list
>mailhist-discuss at emailhistory.org

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