[mailhist-discuss] The first email format "standard"?
dcrocker at gmail.com
Fri Sep 7 08:40:40 PDT 2012
I'd like your thoughts on something that just came up...
I recently saw a reference to RFC 561 as a 'standard' and it gave me
pause. I hadn't thought it held that position, but that was my first
year of working on the Arpanet. RFC 680 is sometimes cited with that
status. Not surprisingly, I had thought RFC 733 held the status as
the first format standard.
After some discussion, I now have the impression that RFC 561 does
qualify as the first email format standard. It was a joint effort among
colleagues at different organizations. It sought to provide a common
base for the email object. It was implemented and deployed and used.
It specified basic mail object syntax, basic header syntax, and syntax
for From, Date and Subject. That's quite a lot, IMO.
That some quickly found it deficient and that that finding eventually
led to RFC 733 does not seem, to me, to negate its relevance as a
milestone in standardization.
 Standardizing Network Mail Headers
 Message Transmission Protocol
 Standard for the Format of ARPA Netowork Text Messages
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