W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > xml-dist-app@w3.org > September 2000

RE: Removal (Time for XMail?)

From: Simon St.Laurent <simonstl@simonstl.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 17:09:16 -0400
Message-Id: <200009292105.RAA06255@hesketh.net>
To: xml-dist-app@w3.org
At 02:14 PM 9/29/00 -0400, Jeff Smith wrote:
>I have built an XML-based e-mail system on
>top of SMTP/MIME. And the legacy problems we've encountered have made it
>clear that the community needs to be moving on to a more XML-oriented
>substrate if we are to take full advantage of XML in e-mail.

I've only poked around a bit at building such a system, but my early poking
suggested that the substrate wasn't going to make building the system any
easier.  I'd love to know what 'take full advantage of XML in e-mail' could
mean, but I don't want to miss the opportunity to find out.

>While the mandate of this group might not be to redefine e-mail (God, what a
>nest of rats THAT would be!) it does seem that if we consider such issues as
>part of our deliberations, we might be able to define a solution that both
>addresses the original mandate, and provides a watershed opportunity to
>e-mail systems.

That's possible, though I suspect it might be wiser to build email on an
email-specific foundation.  It's a large but well-understood problem set
that isn't necessarily about shipping objects (in any interpretation)
between programs.

>Frankly, throwing XML documents around the net is simply more efficient and
>harbors more potential for flexibility and expressiveness than the narrower
>(and sometimes less efficient) model enforced by MIME encoding.

I've got to agree with that!

Simon St.Laurent
XML Elements of Style / XML: A Primer, 2nd Ed.
XHTML: Migrating Toward XML
http://www.simonstl.com - XML essays and books
Received on Friday, 29 September 2000 17:05:56 UTC

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