[mailhist-discuss] PLATO's personal notes for the timeline

Dave Crocker dcrocker at bbiw.net
Fri Sep 18 08:33:57 PDT 2015

On 9/18/2015 8:18 AM, Brian Dear wrote:
> I didn’t see any mention of the PLATO system on the Email History Timeline [1] so here are some details.

Thanks for the note.

Formally, the exercise here is to list historical milestones in the
evolution of email in general.  So, it intends to note technological and
standards innovations.

There has always been an interesting tension between 'conferencing'
systems and 'email' systems, exacerbated by gatewaying between them and
by the fact that some email systems have used a centralized data base,
which made them close to conferencing systems.   (Also the first
teleconferencing system was built to aid in handling the gasoline crisis
of 1972.  So the timeframes for these two types of services aren't all
that different.)

But your note prompts me to think that perhaps there is a separate,
parallel effort we might consider, namely capturing summary
descriptions, such as you've offered, for any software or service
developed along the email timeline.  Arpanet Mail, UUCP mail, Plato,
OnTym, Telemail, etc., etc.

How do other folk on this list feel about a casual effort at such a

I'm envision a timeline table with entries that point to these sorts of


Dave Crocker
Brandenburg InternetWorking

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