Internet E-Mail Architecture
Robert Gezelter, Software Consultant
Technology of Synthesis
User Agents, Protocols, Implementations, and Architectures
Networked Electronic Mail
Non-Internet Electronic Mail Systems
Internet Electronic Mail General Architecture
Mail Transfer Agents
Unwanted Commercial Messages
Electronic mail was the first mass application, now called a “killer app,” of the networked world. It dominated Internet traffic until the explosion of activity subsequent to the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW; a more complete description of the WWW is provided elsewhere in this Handbook). Many people incorrectly associate electronic mail with the Internet. Electronic mail predates the Internet, and even today there are electronic mail systems that use technologies other than those used on the Internet.
Today's electronic mail landscape is an ecosystem with many inhabitants.
The history of electronic mail is a complex tapestry of give and take among the research, business, academic, and other communities. It is a story of experiments in message content, transport, addressing, composition, and reception.
The original electronic mail concept was modest, providing for transmission of simple text messages. Today, ...