[TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode
Mary Ann Horton
mah at mhorton.net
Sun Mar 12 05:07:26 AEST 2017
I just heard from a historian named Piotr Klaban with an interesting
Apparently today 3/11/17 is being publicized as the 25th anniversary of
the email attachment, citing Nat Borenstein's MIME. Piotr points out
that uuencode predates MIME, and he's right.
I checked and, while I don't have any email archives from that time
frame at Berkeley, I was able to find the 4BSD archive on minnie that
dates the uuencode.1c man page at 6/1/80. We didn't call them
attachments back then, just sending binary files by email. (Prior to
then it was common to just include the text of the file raw in the
email, which only worked for ASCII files.) It was a few years later
when cc:Mail and Microsoft Mail started calling uuencoded files embedded
in email "attachments".
When MIME came out in 1992 I became a champion of SMTP/MIME as a
standard - it was a big improvement. But uuencod predated MIME by 12 years.
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