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mail gateway (Re: large messages)

1991-08-15 21:57:30

"Functionality? who cares?!  User interface? Yes!! most important thing
in the world!!"   --Shannon Yeh

is more work for us.  Should we do it, or should we ask that these mail
systems be fixed?

In the international internetwork systems, the existance of mail gateways is
reasonable.  But, I am not sure why the US network vendors keep producing
the SMTP/822 incompatible mail systems and keep introducing the gateway
concept to their users.  My point is: if those proprietary mail programs are
**better** than the current SMTP based mail systems, we should have gateways
to do the translation between those **better** mail systems and the current
SMTP systems.

However, there is a great deal of difficulty to excercise the above point,
because many many users are user_interface_oriented rather than functionality_
oriented these days.  If a mail program does not have "point and click and 
colors", they will **not** use it no matter how powerful, how reliable the 
package really is;  however, if a mail program is very simple to use, they 
will go with it no matter how poor its functionality might be.  The technical
people understand the issues, but they are not the check signers usually.  
However, some of those check signers even do not know quite much about
Internet; they usually go with the magzines--whoever is listed in the front 
page.  Meanwhile, Internet is behind commercially since it was limited to
governmental and educational research use during the past and now.  So, 
finally, many places just keep purchasing the proprietary mail systems.  This 
has become a common, open issue in the non-Unix community.

I have made some speeches on campuses on the mail gateway issue.  I cannot 
quote my speech here since it was commercially motivated by some specific
mail programs, although it is a pure technical speech.  But, the speech is
available via anonymous ftp.


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