It is my claim that MIME will help spread X.400 by making it easier for
Internet and X.400 mail systems to interwork, thus blurring, rather than
enhancing the boundaries between them.
It has become my firm belief that much of the problem faced by X.400
deployment is besed in the way X.400 is "Installed Base Hostile" in that
it offers little (if anyting) to help interwork with any installed base,
particularly internet mail.
MIME corrects this, though there is more work to be done in terms of
mapping MIME body parts to X.400 body parts. This work is being led by
Marshall Rose and Harald Alverstrom.
We also have some difficult work to do to interwork the delivery and
receipt notifications issues. This work is being discussed in the
ietf-ack list. I do not see any easy way to map between the two without
some serious changes to SMTP, which I do not believe can be made into
But, Network World is simply wrong headed in their point of view, shich
suggests that anything helpgful to any installed base system is harmful
to X.400. They need to learn that networtking is not a Zero-Sum Game!
Every interesting connection or message tranfer (according to
Communications 101) has two ends! Improving things at one end should
not harm the things at the other end, in terms of getting useful work
done at both ends.
The great (rude) question to ask is:
"Do you want to get some work done,
or do you just want to make a statement?"