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.
#MIME20 MIME provides a standard & simple way to identify & share any kind of data across platforms.
#MIME20 Without MIME, we'd have, in effect, hundreds of separate Internets, mostly vendor-specific.
#MIME20 Newer protocols, absolutely. But MIME as a data format is much easier for new protocols to adopt than replace
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 @johnriversA 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.