[ih] Internet-history Digest, Vol 10, Issue 1

Toerless Eckert tte at cs.fau.de
Mon Jul 6 07:52:09 PDT 2020

In fairness to X.400 (if that is permissible here on the list), the main reason why
addresses where so long was IMHO because of the mindset of the people who created
the naming schemes. They wanted email addresses to be as descriptive as those
on snail mail envelopes. Hence the rfc822 addresses also turned out to be quite long.
My official signature from the end of 1980th:

             Toerless.Eckert at immd4.informatik.uni-erlangen.de

Policies for email addresses back then in german universities where typically made
by the very same people who also made policies for snail-mail and phone systems,
so its easy to see how historical references where important criteria. And as
young engineers back then we also suspected those people where overlooked by
de-nazification the way they where willing to discuss policies (not).

As email postmasters we got ourselves a shorter domain (fau.de) back then. I think it
took about 20 years and then that became the official name for the university
and primary domain, because by then a new generation of policy makers was around.

I think i see the very same thing today by people responsible for policies of the
Internet after its leaderhip too is steeped in historical experience now. In fact,
i just had one for me quite painful experience with the Internet orthodoxy about
rfc822 addresses.

Bringing back an old signature below from back then, which i think sums it up nicely.


"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the
shoulders of giants."
                        Isaac Newton

"If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on
my shoulders."
                        Hal Abelson

"In computer science, we stand on each other's feet."
                        Brian Reid

On Sun, Jul 05, 2020 at 09:39:23PM -0700, Dave Crocker via Internet-history wrote:
> On 7/5/2020 8:26 PM, the keyboard of geoff goodfellow via Internet-history
> wrote:
> > The standards themselves originally did not specify how these email
> > addresses should be written
> To the extent that x.400 use became common, it wasn't unusual to see a
> business card with a multi-line email address, for all the attributes you
> gave, but listing a /series/ of ADMDs, for all the carriers you could reach
> the person through.  Each carrier, really, meant a different email address.
> (People often miss the wonderfulness of the MX record, and, more generally,
> separating names from addresses from routes.  Someone should write about
> that...)
> d/
> -- 
> Dave Crocker
> Brandenburg InternetWorking
> bbiw.net
> -- 
> Internet-history mailing list
> Internet-history at elists.isoc.org
> https://elists.isoc.org/mailman/listinfo/internet-history

tte at cs.fau.de

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