Standard for interchange of USENET messages (RFC0850)
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2000-Sep-13
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
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RFC 850 June 1983
Standard for Interchange of USENET Messages
Mark R. Horton
[ This memo is distributed as an RFC only to make this
information easily accessible to researchers in the ARPA
community. It does not specify an Internet standard. ]
This document defines the standard format for interchange
of Network News articles among USENET sites. It describes
the format for articles themselves, and gives partial
standards for transmission of news. The news transmission
is not entirely standardized in order to give a good deal
of flexibility to the individual hosts to choose
transmission hardware and software, whether to batch news,
and so on.
There are five sections to this document. Section two
section defines the format. Section three defines the
valid control messages. Section four specifies some valid
transmission methods. Section five describes the overall
news propagation algorithm.
2. Article Format
The primary consideration in choosing an article format is
that it fit in with existing tools as well as possible.
Existing tools include both implementations of mail and
news. (The notesfiles system from the University of
Illinois is considered a news implementation.) A standard
format for mail messages has existed for many years on the
ARPANET, and this format meets most of the needs of
USENET. Since the ARPANET format is extensible,
extensions to meet the additional needs of USENET are
easily made within the ARPANET standard. Therefore, the
rule is adopted that all USENET news articles must be
formatted as valid ARPANET mail messages, according to the
ARPANET standard RFC 822. This standard is more
restrictive than the ARPANET standard, placing additional
requirements on each article and forbidding use of certain
ARPANET features. However, it should always be possible
to use a tool expecting an ARPANET message to process a
news article. In any situation where this standard
conflicts with the ARPANET standard, RFC 822 should be
considered correct and this standard in error.
- 1 -
An example message is included to illustrate the fields.
Relay-Version: version B 2.10 2/13/83; site cbosgd.UUCP
Posting-Version: version B 2.10 2/13/83; site eagle.UUCP
From: email@example.com (Jerry Schwarz)
Subject: Usenet Etiquette -- Please Read
Date: Friday, 19-Nov-82 16:14:55 EST
Expires: Saturday, 1-Jan-83 00:00:00 EST
Date-Received: Friday, 19-Nov-82 16:59:30 EST
Organization: Bell Labs, Murray Hill
The body of the article comes here, after a blank line.
Here is an example of a message in the old format (before
the existence of this standard). It is recommended that
implementations also accept articles in this ...