Chapter 3. Standards and Protocols

Email didn't just spring forth one day from the heads of the founders of the Internet fully formed and fully functional. Although few people wholly appreciate it, the global email system we take for granted every day is in a constant state of evolution. Countless numbers of systems participate in millions of daily connections, with no two the same.

Every day, you and other people around the world effortlessly send and receive email. By this point in time there have been hundreds, perhaps thousands, of email clients and servers that have been, are being, and will be used, each with different design philosophies, features, and underlying programming languages.

For these servers and clients to interoperate, some level ...

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