[mailhist-discuss] Origin of SMTP ?

Craig Partridge craig at aland.bbn.com
Thu Apr 23 14:46:13 PDT 2015

Actually, my view is that SMTP came from RFC 785, which was a description
of the envelope file format they'd Sluizer and Postel had developed for

If you look at SMTP, most SMTP commands fill in a line in that file
format.  (Figure 1 is particularly striking).


> Greetings, oh quiescent email history list.
> Just saw something that prompts a question:
>    Would you say that SMTP derived from RFC 780 (MTP)?
> There were a number of failed efforts that preceded SMTP and while I
> understanding thinking that things derived from RFC 780, it does not
> match my recollection, other than Jon Postel's involvement in both.  I
> remember the specification meetings, but don't remember being
> particularly influenced by 780.
> I'm asking after technical relationship, not about the involvement of
> individuals or even the development process.
> Thoughts?
> d/
> -- 
> Dave Crocker
> Brandenburg InternetWorking
> bbiw.net
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Craig Partridge
Chief Scientist, BBN Technologies
E-mail: craig at aland.bbn.com or craig at bbn.com
Phone: +1 517 324 3425

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