[TAG] IMAP4 vs POP3
sluggoster at gmail.com
Tue Nov 22 00:41:35 MSK 2005
On 11/21/05, Mike Orr <sluggoster at gmail.com> wrote:
> IMAP and 'pine' (a mail reader) were invented by
> the University of Washington to make email and news accessible
> campus-wide by people not familiar with Unix. They also distributed
> campus announcements through local newsgroups. It's surprising now
> that thousands of Windows users would run NCSA Telnet to read their
> mail, but webmail did not exist in the early 90s.
In case this wasn't clear, pine came in both Unix and Windows
versions. The program itself was made for non-technical users:
ctrl-key legends at the bottom of the screen, modeless navigation like
emacs, arrow-up to the To: or Subject: field at any time during
composition. It infuriated Unix users because the keystroke commands
were both different than other mail readers and unintuitive.
Everything had to be done via control keys, but several were taken for
emacs-compatible navigation, so other commands got onto such curious
^G get help (^H backspace)
^O postpone (^P previous-line)
^T to address book (^A beginning-of-line)
So the original idea was to give non-tekkies a friendly mail-and-news
program they could run on Unix, without having to learn 'elm' or 'rn'
or 'man' or more than a few Unix commands. IMAP was invented to
support pine. So three trends coexisted in parallel: novice users
were enticed to Unix via pine, the rise of IMAP beyond pine, and
pc-pine allowing people to avoid Unix.
'pine' exists in Linux along with a text editor 'pico' that has the
same user interface.
Mike Orr <sluggoster at gmail.com>
(mso at oz.net address is broken)
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