PCMAIL: A distributed mail system for personal computers (RFC1056)
Original Publication Date: 1988-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
This memo is a discussion of the Pcmail workstation based distributed mail system. It is identical to the discussion in RFC-993, save that a new, much simpler mail transport protocol is described. The new transport protocol is the result of continued research into ease of protocol implementation and use issues.
Network Working Group M. Lambert Request for Comments: 1056 MIT Obsoletes: RFC-993 June 1988
PCMAIL: A Distributed Mail System for Personal Computers
Table of Contents
1. Status of this Document 1 2. Introduction 2 3. Repository architecture 4 3.1. Management of user mail state 5 3.2. Repository-to-RFC-822 name translation 7 4. Communication between repository and client: DMSP 8 4.1. DMSP commands 8 4.2. DMSP responses 8 4.3. DMSP sessions 11 4.4. General operations 11 4.5. User operations 12 4.6. Client operations 13 4.7. Mailbox operations 14 4.8. Address operations 15 4.9. Subscription operations 15 4.10. Message operations 16 5. Client Architecture 18 5.1. Multiple clients 18 5.2. Synchronization 18 5.3. Batch operation versus interactive operation 20 5.4. Message summaries 20 6. Typical interactive-style client-repository interaction 21 7. A current Pcmail implementation 25 7.1. IBM PC client code 25 7.2. UNIX client code 26 7.3. Repository code 26 8. Conclusions 26 I. DMSP Protocol Specification 28 II. Operations by name 37 III. Responses by number 38
1. Status of this Memo
This RFC is a discussion of the Pcmail workstation based distributed mail system. It is identical to the discussion in RFC-993, save that a new, much simpler mail transport protocol is described. The new transport protocol is the result of continued research into ease of protocol implementation and use issues. Distribution of this memo is unlimited.
Lambert [Page 1]
RFC 1056 PCMAIL June 1988
Pcmail is a distributed mail system providing mail service to an arbitrary number of users, each of whom owns one or more workstations. Pcmail’s motivation is to provide very flexible mail service to a wide variety of different workstations, ranging in power from small, resource-limited machines like IBM PCs to resource-rich (where "resources" are primarily processor speed and disk space) machines like Suns or Microvaxes. It attempts to provide limited service to resource-limited workstations while still providing full service to resource-rich machines. It is intended to work well with machines only infrequently connected to a network as well as machines permanently connected to a network. It is also designed to offer diskless workstations full mail service.
The system is divided into two halves. The first consists of a single entity called the "repository". The repository is a storage center for incoming mail. Mail for a Pcmail user can arrive externally from the Internet or internally from other repository users. The repository also maintains a stable copy of each user’s mail state (this will hereafter be referred to as the user’s "global mail state"). The repository is therefore typically a computer with a large amount of disk storage.
The second half of Pcmail consists of one or more "clients". Each Pcmail user may have an arbitrary number of clients, typically single-user workstations. The clients provide a user with a friendly means of accessing the user’s g...