E-mail is old and complex. It's the oldest still-recognizable component of the Internet, with its modern incarnation having coalesced out of several different decades-old messaging technologies including ARPANET node-to-node messaging in the early s. And though it remains a cornerstone of the Internet—the original killer app, really—it's also extraordinarily hard to do right. We most often interact with e-mail servers through friendly Web-based front-ends or applications, but a tremendous amount of work goes into hiding the complexity that allows the whole system to work. E-mail functions in a poisoned and hostile environment, flooded by viruses and spam. The seemingly simple exchange of text-based messages operates under complex rules with complex tools, all necessary to keep the poison out and the system functioning and useful in spite of the abuse it's constantly under.
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The comparison of mail servers covers mail transfer agents , mail delivery agents , and other computer software that provide e-mail services. Unix -based mail servers are built using a number of components because a Unix-style environment is, by default, a toolbox  operating system. A stock Unix-like server already has internal mail; more traditional ones also come with a full MTA already part of the standard installation. Microsoft Windows servers do not natively implement email. Windows-based MTAs therefore have to cover the whole set of email-related functionality. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Mahoney: To me one of the lovely features of pipes is the way it reinforces the notion of toolbox
Our story begins where the web was born, at CERN.
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