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|| The TCP/IP Guide|
9 TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols, Services and Applications (OSI Layers 5, 6 and 7)
9 TCP/IP Key Applications and Application Protocols
9 TCP/IP File and Message Transfer Applications and Protocols (FTP, TFTP, Electronic Mail, USENET, HTTP/WWW, Gopher)
9 TCP/IP Electronic Mail System: Concepts and Protocols (RFC 822, MIME, SMTP, POP3, IMAP)
9 TCP/IP Electronic Mail Access and Retrieval Protocols and Methods
9 TCP/IP Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP/IMAP4)
IMAP Overview, History, Versions and Standards
(Page 3 of 3)
IMAP History and Standards
IMAP has had a rather interesting
history. I mean interesting in the sense that the normal
orderly development process that is used for most TCP/IP protocols broke
down. The result wasn't quite as bad as what
occurred with SNMP, but is still unusual.
The first version of IMAP formally
documented as an Internet standard was IMAP version 2 (IMAP2) in RFC
1064, published July 1988. This was updated in RFC 1176, August 1990,
retaining the same version number. However, it seems that some of the
people involved with IMAP were not pleased with RFC 1176, so they created
a new document defining version 3 of IMAP (IMAP3): RFC 1203, published
in February 1991. This is described by its authors as a counter
For whatever reason, however, IMAP3
was never accepted by the marketplace. Instead, people kept using IMAP2
for a while. An extension to the protocol was later created, called
IMAP2bis, which added support for MIME
to IMAP. This was an important development due to the usefulness of
MIME, and many implementations of IMAP2bis were created. Despite this,
for some reason IMAP2bis was never published as an RFC. This may have
been due to the problems associated with the publishing of IMAP3.
Note: bis is a Latin word meaning again. It is sometimes used to differentiate changed technical documents from their previous versions when no official new version number is allocated.
In December 1994, IMAP version 4
(IMAP4) was published in two RFCs: RFC 1730 describing the main protocol,
and RFC 1731 describing authentication mechanisms for IMAP4. IMAP4 is
the current version of IMAP and the one widely used today. It continues
to be refined; the latest specific version is actually called version
4rev1 (IMAP4rev1), defined in RFC 2060 and then most recently
by RFC 3501. Most people still just call this IMAP4 and
that's what I will do in the rest of this section.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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