Computer mail meeting notes (RFC0805)
Original Publication Date: 1982-Feb-08
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
A meeting was held on the 11th of January 1982 at USC Information Sciences Institute to discuss addressing issues in computer mail. The attendees are listed at the end of this memo. The major conclusion reached at the meeting is to extend the "username@hostname" mailbox format to "firstname.lastname@example.org", where the domain itself can be further structured.
Network Working Group J. Postel
Request for Comments: 805 ISI
8 February 1982
Computer Mail Meeting Notes
A meeting was held on the 11th of January 1982 at USC Information
Sciences Institute to discuss addressing issues in computer mail.
The attendees are listed at the end of this memo. The major
conclusion reached at the meeting is to extend the
"username@hostname" mailbox format to "email@example.com", where
the domain itself can be further structured.
The meeting opened with a brief discussion of the objectives of the
meeting and a review of the agenda.
The meeting was called to discuss a few specific issues in text
mail systems for the ARPA Internet. In particular, issues of
addressing are of major concern as we develop an internet in which
mail relaying is a common occurance. We need to discuss
alternatives in the design of the mail system to provide high
utility at reasonable cost. One scheme suggested is to create
"mail domains" which are another level of addressing. The ad hoc
scheme of source routing, while effective for some cases, is seen
to lead to some problems. A key test of addressing schemes is the
procedure for sending copies of a reply to a message to the people
who received copies of the original message. The key reference
documents for the meeting were RFCs 788, 799, and 801.
Jon Postel gave a brief review of the NCP-to-TCP transition plan (RFC
801). The emphasis was on mail, the internet host table, and the
role of a Host Name Server.
The major part of the meeting was devoted to a wide ranging
discussion of the general mailbox identification problem. In
particular, the notion of a hierarchial structure of name domains was
discussed, and the issues associated with name servers were discussed
including the types of information name servers should provide.
One of the interesting ideas that emerged from this discussion was
that the "user@host" model of a mailbox identifier should, in
Computer Mail Meeting Notes 8 February 1982
principle, be replaced by a "unique-id@location-id" model, where the
unique-id would be a globally unique id for this mailbox (independent
of location) and the location-id would be advice about where to find
the mailbox. However, it was recognized that the "user@host" model
was well established and that so many different elaborations of the
"user" field were already in use that there was no point in persuing
this "unique-id" idea at this time.
Several alternatives for the structuring and ordering of the
extensions to the "host" field to make it into a general
"location-id" were discussed.
These basically involved adding more hierarchical name information