Re: Yet another X.400 vs SMTP question

Tony Genovese <> Wed, 26 May 1993 17:42 UTC

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From: Tony Genovese <>
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Subject: Re: Yet another X.400 vs SMTP question

> I think it is fair to say that with the President and the Vice President's
> committment to 're-inventing government' that all issues are on the table.
> It is important that we discontinue practises that do not serve the public
> well and re-inforce those that do.  How will we know which is which unless
> we look at all in full sun light?  And how will we find those new ideas
> that, informed by experience, suggest new and better solutions?

	I would like to commend you for taking on this task.  The issue has
been raised before and discussed.  First, let me note that you are speaking
to the choir when you ask about x.400.  If you would like to speak to the
SMTP choir post your question to the  If you
post to the ietf list you will start a War. And most likely because you have
put that you are looking at this issue from a White House perspective this war 
will be very bloody.  The discussion always decays into the two camps shouting
at each other - mixed with some technical content.  

	SMTP is more mature and has more supporters. If you asked for a vote
it will most likely come down on the SMTP side.  ESnet is for all intent and
purposes a SMTP shop - 97% SMTP 3% X.400.  We do X.400, for the most part, 
because GOSIP and DOE GOSIP carry the weight of law.  It would be easier for
me to do SMTP, that does not mean better.  

	For the past couple of years we have been working to build the
infrastructure needed to support X.400 within the Internet.  We have several
more years to go to catch up with SMTP's infrastructure. 

	X.400 is larger then the Internet.  Just in the US you need to look
at the work behind IGOSS (Industry/Government Open Systems Specification).
This work is  from the combined efforts of: The National Institute of Standards
and Technology (NIST), The North American and World Federation of MAP/TOP 
Users Groups, The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), The Canadian 
Open Systems Application Criteria (COSAC).  Add to this the efforts of
the Telecommunitions sectors of the US, i.e. ATT, Sprint, etc.  You can
begin to see that there is a large support base for x.400 outside of the

	So, what is the answer??  I guess it depends on who you ask the