Use of FTP by the NIC Journal (RFC0479)
Original Publication Date: 1973-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
Network Working Group James E. White (JEW) Request for Comments: 479 SRI-ARC NIC: 14948 March 8, 1973
Use of FTP by the NIC Journal
At the Network Mail Meeting (see -- 14317,) the NIC outlined it’s requirements for implementing FTP Journal delivery and submission.
It had always been our thinking that those two services should rely upon the File Transfer Protocol’s MLFL command for their implementation.
Prior to the meeting, we had envisioned that, in the case of submission, for example, the user would embed what parameters the NIC required (e.g., an indication that this piece of mail was to be journalized, a list of NIC idents, etc.) in the USERNAME field of the MLFL command, in a way that was transparent to his FTP user process, and that SRI-ARC’s FTP server process would parse the ’user name’ for the parameters and internally invoke the Journal System with them and the text of the mail as arguments.
Our goal (which this scheme would have satisfied) was to provide the desired services while confining software changes to our own system and, in particular, to avoid requiring that user FTP processes or the File Transfer Protocol itself be modified.
It was, however, the consensus of those present at the meeting that it was preferable to modify FTP in such a way that all required parameters could be explicitly declared, rather than require that they be hidden within what purported to be simply a user name.
The intent of this RFC is to list what we (the NIC) believe were the new FTP commands it was agreed should be defined in support of mail submission and delivery. Actually, we’ve done some massaging after thinking about the issues for awhile, and so this is really a description of what we’d like to see included in the File Transfer Protocol (following the lines of thought which developed at the meeting), along with a short description of how the NIC would use them.
Some of the commands currently make sense only if issued TO the NIC’s FTP server process (as opposed to anybody else’s) and others only if issued BY the NIC’s FTP user process (as opposed to anybody else’s). This is true because currently only the NIC plans to offer mail
White [Page 1]
RFC 479 Use of FTP by the NIC Journal March 1973
forwarding and recording (i.e., the Journal System) as a service. However, other hosts may in the future desire to implement a similar service, at which time these special commands will have wider use.
Conceptually, all of these commands are sub-commands of a new MAIL command, but the intent for the moment is not to define their position within the FTP dialogue nor their syntax, but simply to describe them conceptually. Details of syntax and use are left to the FTP Interest Group which meets 16-MAR-73 in Boston (see -- 14333,).
The new sub-commands are described below. Bracketed fields are optional; slash denotes a choice of two or more alternatives.
(1) TITLE title
Where ’title’ is a character string describing for the human reader the contents of the ma...