9 Jul 1986 16:28-EDT
I must disagree when you mention X.400 as a standard that was
developed "without any significant inputs from the ARPANET world."
X.400 had its inception in IFIP 6.5, which was (and still is) open to
all interested parties and has had a good number of members from the
ARPAnet community. The ARPAnet experience with electronic mail was
extremely important when the CCITT began to build upon the IFIP work.
The details are different, but many of the basic ideas were carried
through. Yes, X.400 doesn't use RFC 822 to represent message. Yes,
it uses a different form of addressing. But the underlying structure
of headers and text, and the definitions of the message headers
themselves, draws heavily upon ARPAnet experience. Likewise, the P1
protocol was designed with SMTP and the old MAIL option to FTP in
mind. (I can think of at least four members of the American
delegation who were quite familiar with ARPAnet mail protocols. In
fact, at least three of us had been involved in the development and/or
implementation of ARPAnet mail and other protocols.)
If it weren't for the wide-spread success and implementation of
ARPAnet-style mail, there probably wouldn't be an X.400 series at all.
We'd all be contemplating teletex as the ultimate in electronic mail
I cannot claim to be unbiased in this discussion. I, too, worked on
commercial standards (including X.400) under NBS funding to BBN. Feel
free to factor that into your reading of this message!
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