Browse Prior Art Database

Proposed Mail Protocol (RFC0524) Disclosure Number: IPCOM000005907D
Original Publication Date: 1973-Jun-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2001-Nov-15
Document File: 41 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)

Related People

J.E. White: AUTHOR



This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 5% of the total text.

Network Working Group                                           J. White

Request for Comments: 524                                        SRI-ARC

NIC: 17140                                                  13 June 1973

                         A Proposed Mail Protocol


   This is the document I offered in (15146,) to write.  It's a proposed

   specification for handling mail in the Network -- a Mail Protocol.

   Main handling is currently implemented as two FTP commands, MAIL and

   MLFL, which permit an FTP user process to deliver a file or string of

   text to an FTP server process, designating it as mail to be made

   available to a user, identified by a local name, in its host.  The

   protocol proposed here is much richer than that, both in terms of the

   functions it supports, and in terms of the flexibility it provides.

   Although one can (I think) and might, implement software on the basis

   of this document, this REALLY IS a Request for Comments.  Comments,

   questions, position papers are solicited.  There are, I'm sure, bugs

   in the protocol specified here, and I hope that readers will point

   them out via RFC as they discover them.

   Various members of the Network community have, during the last few

   months, pointed out to me specific inadequacies in the existing mail

   commands and asked me to be conscious of them in designing a new

   protocol.  I've tried to do that.  If anyone feels that his concern

   wasn't properly dealt with here, or that it slipped through the

   cracks entirely (for which I apologize in advance), I would

   appreciate it if he would prod me once more.



      The Mail Protocol (MP) is implemented by Mail user and server

      processes, in keeping with the model for previous high-level

      protocols.  The Mail user and server processes are further

      specified to be also FTP user and server processes, respectively.

      That is, MP is implemented as a set of commands accessible from

      within the FTP command space.

      The MP command set is defined to lie conceptually within a

      subsystem, invoked from the FTP command space with the command

      MAIL <CFLF>.

White                                                           [Page 1]

RFC 524                 A Proposed Mail Protocol            13 June 1973

         NOTE:  Since a command called 'MAIL' already exists within the

         FTP command space, the command name 'XMAIL' might substitute

         for 'MAIL' while the current mail commands are being phased


      The MP command set may or may not (according to the implementation

      of a particular server) be implemented by a process distinct from

      that which implements FTP proper.

      The following are implications of the 'subsystem' concept, of

      which the reader (and implementer) must be aware:

         (1) Names of MP commands are known only within the MP

         subsystem.  MP commands must (and should naturally) be rejected

         by the server if the user process presents them outside of the


         (2) Exit from the Mail subsystem (to the FTP command space) is

         effected with and only with the command EXIT <CRLF>.  FTP

         commands must be rejected by the server if the user presents

         them while inside the subsystem (i.e., before EXIT is issued).

         (3) The same command name may be assigned without ambiguity to

         two entirely different comman...