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rfc:rfc278

NWG/RFC# 278 RWW 17-NOV-71 14:12 8056 Revision of the Mail Box Protocol

NETWORK WORKING GROUP Abhay Bhushan, MIT-DMCG Request for Comments #278 Bob Braden, UCLA-CCN NIC 8056 Eric Harslem, RAND Categories: A.5, O.7 John Heafner, RAND Obsoletes RFC 221, NIC 7612 Alex McKenzie, BBN-NET

                                John Melvin, SRI-ARC
                                Bob Sundberg, HARV
                                Dick Watson, SRI-ARC
                                Jim White, UCSB
                                17-Nov-1971
                 REVISION OF THE MAIL BOX PROTOCOL
 The file transfer committee met and discussed the Mail Box Protocol
 RFC 221, NIC 7612.  The potential utility for the mechanism was
 confirmed and a couple of changes suggested.  We first give the
 changes and then restate the Protocol.
                                CHANGES
 1) The Mail Box Protocol is only to allow ASCII stings of text
 formatted for a network standard line printer rather than allowing
 other data types.
 2) A new command is to be added to the File Transfer Protocol called
 "Append With Create" which appends to a file if the file exists, and
 creates a file if it does not exist.
 3) The standard path name for the mailbox is to be, using conventional
 metalanguage symbols,
    "MAIL" <separator> ("PRINTER"/<ident>)
    <separator> is the ASCII GS, octal 035.  The semantics of
    the above are the following:
    <ident> is a NIC IDENT
    "MAIL" <separator> "PRINTER" would be interpreted by the
    receiving site as meaning Append With Create the
    transmitted file to a bulk mail file to be printed or
    directly output it to a printer.
    "MAIL" <separator> <ident> would be interpreted to mean
    either
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NWG/RFC# 278 RWW 17-NOV-71 14:12 8056 Revision of the Mail Box Protocol

       1) The same as "MAIL" <separator> "PRINTER" i.e., ignore
       <ident> or
       2) Append With Create the following file to a file
       specifically for the person designated by <ident> for
       either online access or printing or both.
 The problem of delivering mail to TIPs was discussed.
 At the moment TIPs support only the Telnet Protocol, but it is planned
 to support the Data Transfer Protocol.  TIPs will have an ASCII line
 printer available as an optional device.  People desiring to send a
 mail item to a TIP with a printer can open a standard published socket
 and transmit to it with Telnet Protocol now, later also with the Data
 Transfer Protocol.  The NIC's plans with regard to TIPs is not to do
 automatic network delivery to them.  Messages to people using TIPs can
 be sent to them through the NIC and will be delivered as with everyone
 else directly to the person's initial file at the NIC. The TIP user
 can read the item online or obtain a hardcopy at his terminal with the
 Output Device Teletype command of NLS.
                         MAIL BOX PROTOCOL
 The Mail Box Protocol will use established network conventions,
 specifically the Network Control Program, Initial Connection Protocol,
 Data Transfer Protocol, and File Transfer Protocol (as described in
 current Network Protocols, NIC 7104).
 The transmission is to be Network ASCII.  The standard receiving mail
 printer is assumed to have a print line 72 characters wide, and a page
 of 66 lines.  The new line convention will be carriage return (Hex
 per the Telnet Protocol, RFC 158, NIC 6768.  The standard printer will
 accept form feed character (Hex '0C') (Octal '014') as meaning move
 paper to the top of a new page.
 It is the sender's 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 line are sent without a form feed, then the receiving
 site can handle these situations as appropriate for them.  These
 conventions can be changed by control codes as described below.  At
 the head of the message or document sent there is to be two copies of
 an initial address string each terminated by a form feed.  This
 address string is to contain the sender's name and address, and the
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NWG/RFC# 278 RWW 17-NOV-71 14:12 8056 Revision of the Mail Box Protocol

 receiver's name and address formatted in some reasonable, easy-to read
 form for a clerk to read and distribute.  Comments could also be
 included in the address string.  The requirements for two copies are
 to make one readable from a fan fold paper stack without effort.
 Initial Connection
 Initial Connection will be as per the Official Initial Connection
 Protocol, Document #2, NIC 7101, to the standard File Transfer socket
 #3.
 File Transfer
 The mail item (file) to be transferred would be transferred according
 to the File Transfer Protocol.
 As per the File Transfer Protocol, a file (mail item) can be sent in
 more than one data transaction as defined in the Data Transfer
 Protocol.  End of file is indicated by the file separator (as defined
 in Data Transfer Protocol) or by closing the connection.
 Order of Transactions
 The only basic operation required is an Append With Create
                 Append With Create Request
   (Mailer) User -------------------->  Server (Mail Box)
                        <File -  data>
  1. ——————→
                   End of File indication
  1. ——————→
                         Acknowledge
                    <--------------------
 The data type default is network ASCII.  The Standard line printer
 default is as defined above.  Other control transactions can be used.
                  CONTROL TRANSACTIONS TO BE USED
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NWG/RFC# 278 RWW 17-NOV-71 14:12 8056 Revision of the Mail Box Protocol

    OP CODE
   Hex     Octal
    09       011      Error or unsuccessful terminate
    0A      012      Acknowledge or successful terminate
    05      005       Append With Create request (add to
                      existing file or create file if
                      none exists)
    5A      132       Change printer control settings
                            ERROR CODES
 All error codes defined in the file Transfer Protocol could be
 returned.
                       PRINTER CONTROL CODES
   Hex     Octal
    D1      321       Meaning: Set line width to 72 characters
    D2      322       Meaning: Use the full width of your printer
    03      323       Meaning: Set page size to 66 line
    04      324       Meaning: Set page size to infinite
 Other virtual printer control codes can be added in the future.
 Other classes of control codes can be added as the need arises.
     [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
     [ into the online RFC archives by BBN Corp. under the   ]
     [ direction of Alex McKenzie.                   12/96   ]
                                                              [Page 4]
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