On Mon, Feb 23, 2004 at 07:44:53PM +0100, Iljitsch van Beijnum wrote:
Sure, but they're generally not about email.
No, but about communication and about how some people think how communication
will be in some years.
If you want something radical, a while ago I started thinking about a
situation where there is no general connectivity, but people roam
around with mobile clients. A way to distribute mail in such an
environment would be to exchange copies with everyone you meet and then
after some time the message should eventually be delivered.
I like this idea. However I have a vision of people running around
with their mobile device yelling "how has my message"? :-)
Timely delivery would be a problem. But maybe the system could transport
something like a broadcast "who has user <address>" and if the destination
is reachable it would calculate a shortest path and deliver the message.
(This would also (partly) solve the problems you brought up before, with
two people sitting side by side but the email travels some 1000 miles.)
The basic idea is pretty simple: transmit a message of an arbitrary
nature to zero or more people and/or automated systems. (Note the "and"
possibility.) I think the thing that makes email email is that the
sender gets to decide on when it's appropriate to send, and the
receiver gets to decide when it's appropriate to look at the message,
which can be as good as immediately or at a much later time. (Where
obviously Tsend < Trecv.)
I like that. But it should also be a requirement that Tsend is/can be very
close to Trecv, i.e. the transport path is short (in terms of time at least).
what we do over the web these days could be done just as well or even
better by email or by a combination of email and web.
The combination is already in place (but we may not be the target group ;-)
A lot of customers and friend receive newsletters and nearly every
newsletter today is either pure HTML or at least multipart/alternativ.
What they do send with the email is the HTML code but all the inline
objects like sounds and music are retrieved from the webserver.
Maybe that should
be one of our targets: create a synthesis of email and web that is
stronger than each individual protocol/concept.
Back around 1992 when "the web" started an often used term as substitute
for was "document universe".
Ted Nelson proposed a docuverse (document universe) where "Everything
should be available to everyone. Any user should be able to follow
origins and links of material across boundaries of documents, servers,
networks, and individual implementations. There should be a unified
environment available to everyone providing access to this whole
space." (Nelson 1987).
Of course the above is a little too wide as some documents should be
private to users or groups and as I said before we need authorization
Maybe the goal should be that the user doesn't have to choose between
email, FTP, HTTP, ... but simply chooses a document and whether to send
or to receive it and the system would decide the best way.
business-related stuff such as where, what time, look at this link and
so on. And email discussions such as this very one are also an
important use of email for me.
While reading this I thought of Keith's "user views" list. Also all the
discussion takes plave via this mailing list Keith has chosen another
medium (i.e. HTTP/HTML) to store the summary.
And while email is easy to toss around and forward most people imply
the agreement of the author of the email to do so. Putting something
on the web
a) makes it easier to find it again (fixed location)
b) implies less privacy concerns (unless it is password protected of
Four years?? How about TODAY. My mail program will play movies embedded
Sure. What I meant was related to marketing/newsletters. Today the HTML
overhead is ok (sometimes a factor of 1:40 as related to text/plain)
but you subscribers will probably stone you to death if you send them
a fancy 5 MB MPEG instead ;-) Maybe in four years we have enough
bandwidth that sending MPEGs is the normal way for sending out
Actually the fact that the sender has to make this specific choice
makes no sense. The system should be smart enough to choose behavior
that is similar to one or the other automatically based on
sender/receiver capabilities and preferences.
SpaceNet AG | Joseph-Dollinger-Bogen 14 | Fon: +49 (89) 32356-0
Research & Development | D-80807 Muenchen | Fax: +49 (89) 32356-299
"The security, stability and reliability of a computer system is reciprocally
proportional to the amount of vacuity between the ears of the admin"