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Revision of the Mail Box Protocol (RFC0278) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003378D
Original Publication Date: 1971-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-13
Document File: 4 page(s) / 5K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

A.K. Bhushan: AUTHOR [+8]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC0278: DOI

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 49% of the total text.

NWG/RFC# 278 RWW 17-NOV-71 14:12 8056 Revision of the Mail Box Protocol

NETWORK WORKING GROUP Abhay Bhushan, MIT-DMCG Request for Comments #278 Bob Braden, UCLA-CCN NIC 8056 Eric Harslem, RAND Categories: A.5, O.7 John Heafner, RAND Obsoletes RFC 221, NIC 7612 Alex McKenzie, BBN-NET John Melvin, SRI-ARC Bob Sundberg, HARV Dick Watson, SRI-ARC Jim White, UCSB 17-Nov-1971


The file transfer committee met and discussed the Mail Box Protocol RFC 221, NIC 7612. The potential utility for the mechanism was confirmed and a couple of changes suggested. We first give the changes and then restate the Protocol.


1) The Mail Box Protocol is only to allow ASCII stings of text formatted for a network standard line printer rather than allowing other data types.

2) A new command is to be added to the File Transfer Protocol called "Append With Create" which appends to a file if the file exists, and creates a file if it does not exist.

3) The standard path name for the mailbox is to be, using conventional metalanguage symbols,

"MAIL" <separator> ("PRINTER"/<ident>)

<separator> is the ASCII GS, octal 035. The semantics of the above are the following:

<ident> is a NIC IDENT

"MAIL" <separator> "PRINTER" would be interpreted by the receiving site as meaning Append With Create the transmitted file to a bulk mail file to be printed or directly output it to a printer.

"MAIL" <separator> <ident> would be interpreted to mean either

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NWG/RFC# 278 RWW 17-NOV-71 14:12 8056 Revision of the Mail Box Protocol

1) The same as "MAIL" <separator> "PRINTER" i.e., ignore <ident> or

2) Append With Create the following file to a file specifically for the person designated by <ident> for either online access or printing or both.

The problem of delivering mail to TIPs was discussed.

At the moment TIPs support only the Telnet Protocol, but it is planned to support the Data Transfer Protocol. TIPs will have an ASCII line printer available as an optional device. People desiring to send a mail item to a TIP with a printer can open a standard published socket and transmit to it with Telnet Protocol now, later also with the Data Transfer Protocol. The NIC’s plans with regard to TIPs is not to do automatic network delivery to them. Messages to people using TIPs can be sent to them through the NIC and will be delivered as with everyone else directly to the person’s initial file at the NIC. The TIP user can read the item online or obtain a hardcopy at his terminal with the Output Device Teletype command of NLS.


The Mail Box Protocol will use established network conventions, specifically the Network Control Program, Initial Connection Protocol, Data Transfer Protocol, and File Transfer Protocol (as described in current Network Protocols, NIC 7104).

The transmission is to be Network ASCII. The standard receiving mail printer is assumed to have a print line 72 characters wide, and a page of 66 lines. The new line convention will be...