Re: URL paper final edits

Tim Berners-Lee (
Mon, 11 Oct 93 12:20:33 +0100

>From: Larry Masinter <>
>Date: Fri, 8 Oct 1993 15:20:18 PDT
>mailto: followed by an internet address isn't adequate to reference
>document objects that require more text to be sent to an external
>server. I'm thinking of those things that you can call out with
>where there is a 'phantom body'.
>Is this a totally different kind of URL?

Yes. It does not represent a document to be RETRIEVED
by mail (mail is not a retrieval protocol _really_).
The URL represents the mail address.
Sending a message to a mail address is the equivalent
function to posting an article to a newsgroup, or linking
an annotation to a document. There is a new object created
and an association made with an existing object.
A minor difference is that you can't read a mail address,
though you can read a newsgroup or an annotated document.

In fact, of copurse, a good client can do quite a lot to
_represent_ the mail address, with some kind of
icon and perhaps a list of messages the user has in her
some mailboxes which were from or to that mail address.

A current implementation (Cello) puts up a window
for writing messages to the mail address.


>>From RFC 1341:
> The "mail-server" access-type
>The "mail-server" access-type indicates that the actual body is
>available from a mail server. The mandatory parameter for this
>access-type is:
> SERVER -- The email address of the mail server
> from which the actual body data can be obtained.
>Because mail servers accept a variety of syntax, some of which is
>multiline, the full command to be sent to a mail server is not
>included as a parameter on the content-type line. Instead, it may be
>provided as the "phantom body" when the content-type is
>message/external-body and the access-type is mail-server.
>Note that MIME does not define a mail server syntax. Rather, it
>allows the inclusion of arbitrary mail server commands in the
>body. Implementations should include the phantom body in the body of
>the message it sends to the mail server address to retrieve the
>relevant data.