Re: Mail addresses as URLs

Marc VanHeyningen (
Wed, 12 May 1993 00:16:18 -0500

Thus wrote:
>> Presumably this is going to be specific to address formats of the
>> general form we all know and love, "smtp://"
>> seems to me the most consistent and unambiguous method for specifying
>> my mail address. I think calling something "mail" or "mailto" is
>> rather unclear, since the number of different ways to specify mail
>> routing and the like is greater than one. We already have silly
>> ambiguity with "file:" being both local file reference and FTP; let's
>> not do that again with mail.
>On the contrary (as I argued before), rfc-822 mail addresses are
>independent of routing! E.g. at our site all outgoing mail from a
>workstation is first moved onto the central mail server machine which
>takes care of delivery using whatever method it sees fit. In fact
>most of our users won't even recognize "smtp" as the name of a mail
>delivery protocol.
>In general different sites may have different mechanisms to deliver
>mail, but the same mail address works for all (ideally, anyway).

Hmmm... I'll agree that "smtp" is too specific and a bit ill thought
out. However, I believe that "mail" or "mailto" or the like is too
general. Something like "rfc822" could be a bit clearer, albeit
rather cryptic. There has to be a better way.

(Most users I know wouldn't know "rfc822" any more than "smtp", I
acknowledge, but oh well.)

Marc VanHeyningen   MIME & RIPEM accepted
De Gaulle remark[s ...] about the American "will to power, cloaking itself in
idealism."  By now, this will to power is not so much cloaked in idealism as
it is drowned in fatuity.		- Chomsky