Re: list of user-visible goals2004-02-06 06:28:17
On 6-feb-04, at 13:25, Hector Santos wrote:
1) Original 1980's pre-internet design focused on Local User communications.
In other words, the translated lookup user id for the MAIL FROM address must match the authenticated user's account user id.
The problem here is that we tend to think around existing mechanisms, or possibly new mechanisms. Local users, from addresses, that stuff is obviously important at some level, but there is also a level where it doesn't matter at all: I know who I am, you know who you are, and if I want to send mail to you, not only do I not care much about all the stuff that's sitting in between, but I'm also not all that concerned with stuff like email addresses and identity. (Obviously there are times that I am, but the point is that that's not automatically always the case.)
Maybe an example would be in order. With Apple's instant messaging application iChat I can chat with other people who are on the AOL IM network. However, when I'm at a meeting or a conference or such and I connect to the local network, I also get to see all other iChat users who are also there. However, the identity someone uses on the local network is separate from the identity someone uses on the AOL network. Now possibly this carefree way of communicating may not be suitable for email (although I think it can be for a significant amount of people at least some of the time) but it shows that sometimes the hard problems (how do I know who I'm talking to) don't have to be solved so much but can be worked around.
But if we want to identify people for the purpose of sending email, what should this identifier be? Some change their email address on a continuous basis while very few of us use the same email address as 10 years ago. Names just aren't unique. So what then? Social security number? GPS coordinates? PGP key or certificate?