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Well, Andrew laid out the initial design, but since he is pretty busy these days lets see if I can answer for him. Andrew, feel free to correct me!
The javax.mail API is really targeted at the client side, so while it does provide some useful features, it really does not get the job done. We looked at using some of the API, such as InternetHeaders, but it is not serializable, which causes some headaches.
It just did not seem to provide enough value to offset the hastles.
Yup. I'm even thinking of some day rewriting JavaMail. Its universally hated and even the Sun-lackey side of Apache wants to rewrite it.