Thoughts on the mail protocol proposed in RFC 524 (RFC0539)
Original Publication Date: 1973-Jul-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
D. Crocker: AUTHOR [+2]
Generally, we feel that the protocol is extremely rich. We also feel that there are some minor and some major problems.
Network Working Group D. Crocker (UCLA-NMC)
Request For Comment: #539 J. Postel (UCLA-NMC)
NIC 17644 July 9, 1973
Thoughts on the Mail Protocol Proposed in RFC 524
Generally, we feel that the protocol is extremely rich. We also feel
that there are some minor and some major problems.
The minor points first:
would be more convenient, if they were explained sooner.
2. The Proposed
Ahead, which should not be used by higher level protocols.
3. The default SIGNATURE should be the sign-on or ident of the
4. The Disposition INTERRUPT would be more useful if it had
author/clerk-assigned "levels". Currently mail would be either
urgent or not. With levels (say 1 to 10), the sender could rate the
degree of urgency.
There would be no precise defined meaning to any of these
levels, merely the opportunity for a subjective evaluation by
the sender. The receiver (process or person) may do whatever
they wish with the information.
A user could thereby direct a receiving process to notify him
immediately of Priority 5 or higher Short mail or any Priority
10 mail immediately, but defer notification of any other mail.
(Length is discussed later in this note.)
5. Also, we would like the word, "INTERRUPT", to be changed to
URGENT or PRIORITY
6. In keeping with offering the sender the opportunity to 'rate' his
mail, we would like to allow him the chance to warn the receiver of
the size of the mail. This could be a byte count and/or an
imprecise SHORT/MEDIUM/LONG. Again, the receiver may use this
information as he/it sees fit.
7. The ID command seems confusing.
If I am a clerk and sending to someone on another host, that
host may ask me to 'prove' my identity by using an ID. How can
the Sigma-7 at UCLA-NMC know WHITE's id? He does not have one on
the Sigma, but certainly should be able to send mail to us
8. How do ACK's, Progress Reports, or Replies work when there is no
Reference Serial number?
9. Please include the distinction between Static and Dynamic
attributes as part of the formal syntax.
10. Though hosts must be allowed to require a login, before they
will accept mail, would like the Protocol document to reflect a
negative attitude towards such a requirement.
11. In describing defaults, relatively cryptic phrases such as
"Author to the Clerk" are sometimes used. Please be a bit more
12. The sender is required to send Static, Dynamic, and then
This requires receiving hosts to buffer the contents before
passing them on to the appropriate recipient. (In fact, before
finding out whethe...