[mailhist-discuss] First email attachment?
dhc at dcrocker.net
Sun Mar 12 15:48:18 PDT 2017
On 3/12/2017 3:42 PM, Jack Haverty wrote:
> I'm not sure if it fits your definition of "attachment", but the COMSYS
> mail system at MIT in 1976 (and probably a bit earlier) had a notion of
> "Enclosures" which enabled large or non-textual content to be included
> in a message outside of the body of the text itself. The message would
> include a pointer to a file containing the content to be enclosed, which
> the receiving system could retrieve by the local file system, or
> mechanism such as FTP, if and when the recipient wanted it.
ewww. Forgot the scenario of external references (though MIME included
the construct from the start.)
Mumble. If a convention for citing/including external references does
not count as an 'attachment' then we'd have to define yet-another
category of construct and I think it's not necessary. So, yeah, that
> So the main text message would be delivered by COMSYS, and the enclosure
> would be retrieved later by the recipient.
> Since there wasn't any protocol defined yet for attachments, messages
> sent to recipients outside of the COMSYS world got the enclosure as part
> of the message body.
Was there any distinctive/standard packaging and/or encoding?
> That behavior allowed us to conveniently send large documents in
> internal email. It also led to a few complaints. One episode was
> captured in the HEADER-PEOPLE archives, when I had just sent something
> large (a ~65,000 character document, Oh My!) that caused other people's
> mail systems to choke. See below.
Yeah, when author's can't feel the effect of a large message body and
it's convenient to create them... they do.
Thanks for the reference and example!
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