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Mail Box Protocol (RFC0196) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000004184D
Original Publication Date: 1971-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-10
Document File: 4 page(s) / 5K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

R.W. Watson: AUTHOR

Related Documents

10.17487/RFC0196: DOI

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 46% of the total text.

NETWORK WORKING GROUP Richard W. Watson Request for Comments #196 SRI-ARC NIC 7141 July 20, 1971 Categories: A.5, D.7 Obsoletes: none Updates: none


The purpose of this protocol is to provide at each site a standard mechanism to receive sequential files for immediate or deferred printing or other uses. The files for deferred printing would probably be stored on intermediate disk files, although details of how a file is handled, stored, manipulated, or printed at a site are not the concern of this protocol.

It is also assumed that there would be a program at the sending site which sends the file in the format given below with the optional control codes when appropriate. This program could probably be accessed as a subcommand of the Telnet program.

The motivation for developing this protocol is the Network Information Center’s (NIC) need to be able to deliver messages and documents to remote sites, and to be able to receive documents for cataloging, redistribution, and other purposes from remote site without having to know the details of path name conventions and file system commands at each site. Multiple mail boxes (128) are allowed at each site and are identified as described below. The default is mail box number 0 for use with the standard mail printer defined below.

A mail box, as we see it, is simply a sequential file to which messages and documents are appended, separated by an appropriate site dependent code.

Although this protocol will enable people to transmit messages directly without going through the NIC, we want to encourage people to use the NIC as much as possible, so that dialogue will be recorded, cataloged and available for viewing online at NIC, using the powerful facilities of the ARC on Line System (NLS).

The Mail Box Protocol will use established network conventions, specifically the Network Control Program, Initial Connection Protocol, and Data Transfer Protocol, NIC 7104.

The normal transmission is to be full 7-bit ASCII in 8-bit bytes, the high order bit set to zero.

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The standard receiving mail printer for mail box number 0 is assumed to have a print line 72 characters wide, and a page of 66 lines. The new line convention will be carriage return (X’OD’) followed by line feed (X’OA’) as per the Telnet Protocol RFC 158, NIC 6768. The standard printer will accept form feed (X’OC’) as meaning move paper to the top of a new page.

It is the senders responsibility to control the length of the print line and page. If more than 72 characters per line are sent or if more than 66 lines are sent without a form feed, than the receiving site can handle these situations as appropriate for them. These conventions can be changed by control codes as described below.

A message or document being sent to any mail box is a string of 8 bit bytes.

At the head of the message or document sent to mail box number 0 there is to be an initial address string terminated by a form feed....