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The #MIME20 Twinterview Round Up

To mark the 20th anniversary of MIME we hosted a live interview on Twitter – a “Twinterview” – with one of MIME’s co-creators Dr Nathaniel Borenstein. At 3pm on Wednesday our eyes were glued to our screens as the #MIME20 tweets came in thick and fast!

Here are the highlights, as we learnt a great deal about MIME from Nathaniel’s answers.

philcorfan ‏ @philcorfan

Right, here’s my #MIME20 question for @drmime… Can you explain, in 140 characters(!), why MIME was so important?

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 MIME provides a standard & simple way to identify & share any kind of data across platforms.

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 Without MIME, we’d have, in effect, hundreds of separate Internets, mostly vendor-specific.

Steven Ambrose ‏ @ambio

@ambio@drmime Do you see any newer or more secure protocols?

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 Newer protocols, absolutely. But MIME as a data format is much easier for new protocols to adopt than replace

philcorfan ‏ @philcorfan

#MIME20 @drmime You say you made mistakes in developing MIME, with the benefit of hindsight, what would you have done differently?

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @philcorfan We botched anticipation of future changes to MIME, but as no major changes were ever needed it’s merely embarrassing.

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @philcorfan We also didn’t make Content-Disposition clear enough to keep vendors from screwing it up.

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @philcorfan Those are my two biggest regrets, so I guess it could be a lot worse. However, the error anticipating future…

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @philcorfan …changes results in 19 wasted bytes in every MIME object. I estimate it wastes 7 petabytes/year in global bandwidth.

Justin Pirie ‏ @justinpirie

@drmime And do you think that backwards compatibility was one of the main reasons for MIME’s success? #MIME20

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @justinpirie That’s why MIME chose backwards compatibility w/7bit SMTP over a lovely new protocol requiring global retrofit.

To our great disappointment there were no questions about Bellcore’s very own barbership quartet the Telephone Chords. But there were some enthralling questions about the meaning behind the name MIME:

Kirstin Beveridge ‏ @KeBeveridge

@drmime #MIME20 Why did you choose the name MIME? Be honest, is it just because it’s a cool acronym? :)

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @KeBeveridge Basically yes — a cool name promotes adoption, it’s technical marketing. In fact, I believe that the best advice…

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @KeBeveridge …I ever got in my career was from Dave Crocker, author of the original email standards. He said: Find a catchy name.

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

#MIME20 @KeBeveridge Catchy name means people say “I want MIME” instead of “I want RFC 1341.” Names are hooks on which we hang ideas.

The Twinterview came to a close at 4pm with this final question:

John Rivers ‏ @johnrivers

#MIME20 @drmime did you face any sceptics when you invented MIME?

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

Oh yes. Why do we need pictures/attachments? Backward compatibility? Even “Why do we need non-English email”!!! #MIME20@johnrivers

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

Fortunately, we didn’t need to convince everyone it was necessary, just that it wasn’t harmful. That was easier. #MIME20 @johnrivers

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

Politically, MIME was achieved by coalition of people with different goals that were mutually compatible. #MIME20 @johnrivers

Nathaniel Borenstein ‏ @drmime

Essentially, they humored each other to gain critical mass. Technical politics is much like any other politics. #MIME20 @johnrivers

A big thank you to Nathaniel for being a great interviewee.

And of course thank you to all who contributed in the Q&A, we hope you all enjoyed participating and unearthed some new knowledge about MIME and emails.

  • http://www.jatheon.com/why-jatheon/why-archive/email-archiving/ email archiving

    Great roundup. Im happy someone took the time to make one. Thank you for posting!