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Standard for the format of ARPA network text messages (RFC0733) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000003780D
Original Publication Date: 1977-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-14
Document File: 38 page(s) / 48K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

D. Crocker: AUTHOR [+3]

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC0733: DOI

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 6% of the total text.

RFC # 733 NIC # 41952

Obsoletes: RFC #561 (NIC #18516) RFC #680 (NIC #32116) RFC #724 (NIC #37435)



21 November 1977


David H. Crocker The Rand Corporation

John J. Vittal Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

Kenneth T. Pogran Massachusets Institute of Technology

D. Austin Henderson, Jr.(2) Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

_________________________________________________________________ (1)This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, under contract Nos. N00014-75-C-0661, MDA903-76-C-0212, and DAHC15-73-C0181.

(2)The authors’ postal addresses are: D. Crocker, The Rand Corporation, Information Sciences Dept., 1700 Main St., Santa Monica, California 90406; J. Vittal & D. A. Henderson, Bolt Beranek & Newman, 50 Moulton St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138; and K. Pogran, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. The authors’ ARPANET addresses are: DCrocker at Rand-Unix, Vittal at BBN- TenexD, Pogran at MIT-Multics, and Henderson at BBN-TenexD.



ARPA’s Committee on Computer-Aided Human Communication (CAHCOM) wishes to promulgate a standard for the format of ARPA Network text message (mail) headers which will reasonably meet the needs of the various message service subsystems on the Network today. The authors of this document constitute the CAHCOM subcommittee charged with the task of developing this new standard.

Essentially, we specify a revision to ARPANET 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. An earlier draft of this specification was published as RFC #724, "Proposed Official Standard for the Format of ARPA Network Messages" and contained extensive discussion of the background and issues in ARPANET mail standards.

This specification was developed over the course of one year, using the ARPANET mail environment, itself, to provide an on-going forum for discussing the capabilities to be included. More than twenty individuals, from across the country, participated in this discussion and we would like to acknowledge their considerable efforts. The syntax of the standard was originally specified in the Backus-Naur Form (BNF) meta-language. Ken L. Harrenstien, of SRI International, was responsible for re-coding the BNF into an augm...