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Proposed official standard for the format of ARPA Network messages (RFC0724) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003770D
Original Publication Date: 1977-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-15
Document File: 36 page(s) / 44K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D. Crocker: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC0724: DOI

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 7% of the total text.

RFC # 724 NIC #37435 12 May 1977

Proposed Official Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Messages


Ken Pogran, MIT-LCS/CSR (Pogran at MIT-Multics) John Vittal, BBN (Vittal at BBN-TENEXA) Dave Crocker, RAND-ISD (DCrocker at Rand-Unix) Austin Henderson, BBN (Henderson at BBN-TENEXD)

Proposed Standard for Message Format / ii


ARPA’s Committee on Computer-Aided Human Communication (CAHCOM) wishes to promulgate an official standard for the format of ARPA Network mail headers which will adequately meet the needs of the various message service subsystems on the Network today. The authors of this RFC constitute the CAHCOM subcommittee charged with the task of developing this new standard; this document presents our current thoughts on the matter and a specific proposal.

This document is organized as follows: First, we present a history, of the development of what has become known as the ARPA Network "mail" or "message" service, and the issues which we feel are most pressing -- problems for which solutions are lacking today, inhibiting the further development of message subsystems. We then present the specification for the new ARPA Network Message Header standard. This is followed by a References section.

Essentially, we propose a revision to Request for Comments (RFC) 561, "Standardizing Network Mail Headers", and RFC 680, "Message Transmission Protocol". This revision removes and compacts portions of the previous syntax and adds several features to network address specification. In particular, we focus on people and not mailboxes as recipients and allow reference to stored address lists. We expect this syntax to provide sufficient capabilities to meet most users’ immediate needs and, therefore, give developers enough breathing room to produce a new mail transmission protocol "properly". We believe that there is enough of a consensus in the Network community in favor of such a standard syntax to make possible its adoption at this time.

We would like to make clear the status of this proposed standard: The CAHCOM Steering Committee has replaced the Message Service Committee as the ARPANET standards-setting organization in the area of message services. It is expected that the proposal of this CAHCOM subcommittee, when in its final form, will be adopted as an ARPANET standard by CAHCOM. In the interests of making this standard the best possible one, we are distributing this proposal as an RFC.

Please send any comments and criticisms to any of the authors of this RFC by 15 June 1977. It is planned that the standard will be officially adopted by 1 September 1977, with hosts expected to accept its syntax by 1 January 1978.

Proposed Standard for Message Format / iii



A. Background and History B. Issues and Conclusions C. Message Parts D. Adoption of the Standard


A. Framework B. Syntax C. Semantics D. Examples



A. Alphabet...