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RFC 453 - Meeting announcement to discuss a network mail system

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Network Working Group                                 Michael D. Kudlick
RFC # 453                                             SRI-ARC
NIC # 14317                                           February 7, 1973

         Meeting Announcement to Discuss a Network Mail System


The purpose of this RFC is to announce a meeting at SRI-ARC on the
Network Mail problem discussed at the January 1973 Principal
Investigators' Meeting in San Diego.

We have set the meeting for Thursday, February 22, 1973, at 8:30 AM in
the SRI-ARC conference room.  If a second day is is needed, Friday would
be used.

The agenda will include a discussion of the problem, and a discussion of
alternate solutions.

The goal of the meeting is to produce a clear definition of what the
solution ought to be, what steps have to be taken, and who should do

The results of the meeting will be published as an RFC for further
dialogue, as is done with other suggested protocols.

Aspects of the Problem

There are already several subsystems existing on the Network whose
function is to send and receive mail.

The principal problem is to coordinates and extend these subsystems so

    a.  uniform user and site identifications are used,

    b.  the File Transfer Protocol is utilized to allow mail to be
        originated and distributed anywhere on the Network without
        having to go through a central system.

    c.  there is an option for the sender to record the dialogue and
        have it catalogued for others to read and reference, and

    d.  There is a way to handle mail for TIP users.

        A suggestion made in the past to have a typewriter type terminal
        permanently attached to TIP's to record all hardcopy messages
        directed to that TIP should be reviewed.

We (SRI-ARC) have been looking into the problem of using the File
Transfer Protocol to allow NIC Journal mail to be sent and delivered
over the Network, without the user having to know and use NLS.  We
intend to integrate this function with the Tenex SNDMSG capabilities.
For some preliminary internal ARC discussion on this subject, you may be
interested in reading two Journal items, one by Charles Irby (IJOURNAL,
14308,1:w) and the other by Jim White (IJOURNAL, 14312,1:w).

    We realize that there are many benefits to this approach, but would
    like to have such a scheme fit into an agreed upon Network wide
    message and document sending protocol.

    Especially important to us is that questions concerning user and
    site identification, recorded and unrecorded dialogue, and
    coordination among other mail subsystems on the Network, be fully
    understood and mutually resolved at the design level before
    implementation work proceeds.

    We therefore want to discuss these issues at the Network Mail
    meeting February 22.

Role of the NIC

In conjunction with the above discussion, we will consider offering the
services of the Network Information Center in three related areas:

    to implement and maintain identification files for all network users
    and sites;

        (These files could be made available in sequential form through
        a standard socket so that Network sites could either query them
        or periodically obtain updated copy.)

    to record in the NIC Journal that mail which the sender wishes to
    have recorded, and to catalogue those items for later reference;

    to distribute Journal or message mail through the Network via File
    Transfer Protocols if requested;

    to provide and use NIC dialogue group identifications, in order to
    make it simpler to send items to several persons who had a common

Network Mail Meeting Logistics

If you or anyone at your site would like to attend the meeting, please
notify Mil Jernigan (MEJ) at SRI-ARC:
    phone (415) 326-6200 ext. 4775

If you request it, we will make motel reservations for you.

Signed ... MD Kudlick

       [ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
       [ into the online RFC archives by Alex McKenzie with    ]
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