EHLO; MAIL FROM: Aaron; RCPT TO: You; SUBJECT: Enjoy!
There are a lot of places to start when discussing IMAP email. I could start with its technical aspects, postives, negatives, supported platforms, etc. I think that it makes the most sense to start by discussing IMAP’s history.
IMAP was originally conceived at Stanford in 1986 by Mark Crispin who was later hired by the University of Washington in 1989. The first IMAP server was deployed at Stanford for testing in 1987, but it wasn’t until 1992 that the first IMAP server was truly implemented. In 1992 with the help of Mark Crispin and many others contributing to the UW-IMAP server application, the University of Washington rolled out one of the largest IMAP implementations to date using the IMAP2bis protocol, along with the Pine 2.0 front-end client application. It was during this same year, 1992, that Carnegie Mellon University began development of their own Cyrus IMAP project which is the mostly widely used IMAP service today. It was at the University of Washington in 1996 that together with vendors such as Sun and Netscape, the current IMAP4rev1 protocols specifications were completed.