[TUHS] who invented the email attachment?

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Mar 20 17:32:11 AEST 2017

Mary Ann Horton <mah at mhorton.net> wrote:

> This is great feedback, and the shar mechanism would seem applicable 
> here too.  But I can't seem to find a date for shar.
> I'm under the impression that shar came later in the 1980s. Google's 
> archive for net.sources only goes back to 1987 (unless I'm doing it 
> wrong) and clearly shar was already well established by then.
> Can anyone put a date on shar, or at least before/after 6/1/1980?
> Thanks!
>      Mary Ann

ISTR that there was a shar-style program in Kernighan & Pike's "The
UNIX Programming Environment".  That was circa 1984 but shar had been
around for a while before that.  Writing a simple shar creator
in shell was pretty trivial:

	for i in "$@"
		echo echo ---- Extracting $i ----
		echo "cat << 'EOF' > $i"
		cat $i
		echo EOF
	done > file.shar

And I think many people just did that sort of thing on the fly
at first.

Over time shar creators got fancier, with the ability to make directories,
uuencode binaries, and split large files and put them back together
again. (Cf. the kind of postings in the netnews *.sources groups.)

Not sure this helps to put a date on shar, but certainly shar archives
were widely used in the 1983-1985 time frame...


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