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RFC:767

     A STRUCTURED FORMAT FOR TRANSMISSION OF MULTI-MEDIA DOCUMENTS

                           Jonathan B. Postel

                              August 1980

                     Information Sciences Institute
                   University of Southern California
                           4676 Admiralty Way
                   Marina del Rey, California  90291

                             (213) 822-1511

< INC-PROJECT, MMMSFS.NLS.21, >, 5-Sep-80 20:19 JBP ;;;;

                                                                  Postel

August 1980                                                             
           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

    PREFACE ........................................................ iii

1.  INTRODUCTION ..................................................... 1

  1.1.  Motivation ................................................... 1
  1.2.  Scope ........................................................ 1
  1.3.  Terminology .................................................. 1
  1.4.  Document Description ......................................... 2
  1.5.  Other Work ................................................... 2

2.  SPECIFICATION .................................................... 3

  2.1.  Document ..................................................... 3
  2.2.  Message Objects  ............................................. 5
  2.3.  Body Structures ............................................. 13
  2.3.1.  Simple Elements ........................................... 13
  2.3.2.  Structured Text ........................................... 13
  2.3.3.  NLS File Example .......................................... 13
  2.3.4.  Multimedia Structures ..................................... 15
  2.3.5.  The Media ................................................. 21
  2.3.6.  TEXT ...................................................... 22
  2.3.7.  VOICE ..................................................... 22
  2.3.8.  FACSIMILE ................................................. 23
  2.3.9.  GRAPHICS .................................................. 24

3.  EXAMPLES & SCENARIOS ............................................ 25

  Example 1:  Text Example .......................................... 25
  Example 2:  Multimedia Example .................................... 28

REFERENCES .......................................................... 31

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[Page ii]                                                         Postel

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents

                                PREFACE

This is the first edition of this format specification and should be
treated as a request for comments, advice, and suggestions.  A great
deal of prior work has been done on computer aided message systems and
some of this is listed in the reference section.  This specification was
shaped by many discussions with members of the ARPA research community,
and others interested in the development of computer aided message
systems.  This document was prepared as part of the ARPA sponsored
Internetwork Concepts Research Project at ISI.

                                                              Jon Postel

Postel                                                        [Page iii]

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents

RFC: 767                                                       J. Postel
                                                                 USC-ISI
                                                             August 1980

     A STRUCTURED FORMAT FOR TRANSMISSION OF MULTI-MEDIA DOCUMENTS

                            1.  INTRODUCTION

This document describes a format for transmitting structured data
representations of multimedia documents.  This format is intended to be
used with the Internet Message Protocol in an internetwork message
delivery system.  That system is designed to transmit messages between
processes in host computers called Message Processing Modules (MPMs).
MPMs are located in several networks and together constitute an
internetwork message delivery system.  The Internet Message Protocol
defines a message as being composed of an Identification, a Command, and
a Document.  This report is intended to define the format of such
Documents.  The reader is assumed to be familiar with the Internet
Message Protocol [1].

1.1.  Motivation

  Computer applications are being implemented which interact with users
  in a variety of media (text, graphics, facsimile, speech).  As
  computer devices become available to process multimedia information it
  becomes desirable to use computers to exchange multimedia information
  between programs and users via various mechanisms including computer
  mail.

1.2.  Scope

  This format is intended to be used for the transmission of multimedia
  documents in the internetwork message delivery system, but it is
  thought that it has a wider applicability.

1.3.  Terminology

  The messages are routed by a process called the Message Processing
  Module or MPM.  Messages are created and consumed by User Interface
  Programs (UIPs) in conjunction with users.

  The basic unit transferred between MPMs is called a message.  A
  message is made up of a transaction identifier (which uniquely
  identifies the message), a command (which contains the necessary
  information for delivery), and document.  The document is a data
  structure.

  For a personal letter the document body corresponds to the contents of

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A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents
Introduction

  the letter; the document header corresponds to the date line,
  greeting, and signature.

  For an inter-office memo the document body corresponds to the text;
  the document header corresponds to the header of the memo.

  The commands correspond to the information used by the Post Office or
  the mail room to route the letter or memo.  Some of the information in
  the command is supplied by the UIP.

1.4.  Document Description

  The document is composed of fields.  Each field will carry an
  identifying name.  Typical fields are DATE, TO, SUBJECT, and BODY.
  Most of the fields will be very simple, some will be complex.  The
  body field may be quite complex.  For example, the DATE is a very
  constrained character string specifying the date and time in ISO
  format. A more complex example is the TO field which is a list of
  mailboxes, where a mailbox is itself a property list of address
  information items.  The BODY may be simply a character string, or a
  very structured collection of data representing information in
  different media.

  The BODY may be structured to indicate a controlled presentation of
  multimedia information.  There is provision for the inclusion of text,
  graphics, facsimile, and voice information in the body of documents.
  The presentation of information units may sequential, independent, or
  simultaneous.

1.5.  Other Work

  This protocol the benefited from the earlier work on message protocols
  in the ARPA Network [2,3,4,5,6], and the ideas of others about the
  design of computer message systems [7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18].

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents

                           2.  SPECIFICATION

The structured format of a document is built on the basic data elements
used in the Internet Message Protocol [1].

2.1.  Document

  The document is a property list of <name,value> pairs called fields.
  A few fields are specifically required and many are optional.  Some of
  the field values are simple and a few are quite complicated.  In
  particular the body value may be highly structured.

  Older message systems have considered the document to be divided into
  a header and a body, and have used keywords to indicate specific
  header fields (e.g., date, to, subject).  Roughly speaking, this
  functionality is provided in this new structured format by considering
  the name part of the <name,value> pair to be a keyword.  In addition,
  this new structured format eliminates the separate treatment of the
  body.

  It is impossible to foresee the many forms documents will take so the
  standard for a document header must be flexible.  The approach here is
  to define a set of basic fields and allow addition of whatever fields
  are necessary.  Features added in this fashion may not be understood
  by others.

  The minimum document is a property list of the following fields:

    Name     Value
    ----     -----
    DATE     date string (name)
    SENDER   a mailbox
    SUBJECT  subject string (text)
    BODY     a data structure

  A typical document is a property list containing the following fields:

    Name     Value
    ----     -----
    DATE     date string (name)
    SENDER   a mailbox
    FROM     list of mailboxes
    TO       list of mailboxes
    CC       list of mailboxes
    SUBJECT  subject string (text)
    BODY     a data structure

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  An elaborate document might contain the following fields:

    Name        Value
    ----        -----
    DATE        date string (name)
    SENDER      a mailbox
    FROM        list of mailboxes
    TO          list of mailboxes
    CC          list of mailboxes
    BCC         list of mailboxes
    REPLY-TO    list of mailboxes
    SUBJECT     subject string (text)
    COMMENTS    comment string (text)
    MESSAGE-ID  message identifier of this message (text)
    IN-REPLY-TO message identifier of previous message (text)
    REFERENCES  message identifiers of other messages (text)
    KEYWORDS    key terms used in this message (text)
    BODY        a data structure

  One of the key objects is the mailbox.  It appears in the sender,
  from, to, cc, bcc, and reply-to fields.  The mailbox is a property
  list of objects that combine to specify a destination recipient for a
  message.  Most of the <name,value> pairs that make up a mailbox are
  identical to those used in the deliver command in the Internet Message
  Protocol [1].  A few additional <name,value> pairs are defined for use
  in a mailbox in the document context.  In particular, there is a field
  for the real name of a person in contrast to the "user name" which
  identifies a computer account.

  In addition there is a field to specify a distribution group name.
  Such group names are used to indicate that a document is being sent to
  a group of recipients.  This essentially presents an alternate form
  for a mailbox which consists of the single <name,value> pair for the
  group name.  There is no required relationship between a group name
  mailbox and other mailboxes in the same list.

  For example, all of the following situations are allowed:

    .  a mailbox list consisting of a single mailbox specifying a
       particular user,

    .  a mailbox list consisting of a single mailbox with a group name,

    .  a mailbox list consisting of a mailbox with a group name and a
       mailbox specifying a particular user, with either the user in or
       not in the group,

    .  a mailbox list consisting of a mailbox with a group name and a

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                                                           Specification

       several mailboxes specifying a particular users, with some users
       in the group and some not,

    .  a mailbox list consisting of several mailboxes specifying group
       names and a several mailboxes specifying a particular users, with
       some users in the groups and some not.

2.2.  Message Objects

  In the documents of messages, we use a set of objects such as mailbox
  or date.  These objects are encoded in basic data elements.  Some
  objects are simple things like integers or character strings, other
  objects are more complex things like lists or property lists.  The
  following is a list of the objects used in messages.  The object
  descriptions are in alphabetical order.

  Account

    The account information.  Represented by a name element.

  Address

    Address is intended to contain the minimum information necessary to
    identify a user, and no more (compare with mailbox).

    An address is a property list which contains the following
    <name,value> pairs:

      name    description
      ----    -----------
      NET     network name
      HOST    host name
      USER    user name

    or:

      name    description
      ----    -----------
      MPM     mpm-identifier
      USER    user name

  Answer

    A yes (true) or no (false) answer to a question.  Represented by a
    boolean element.

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  BCC

    A list of mailboxes.  The addresses of those who receive "blind
    carbon copies" of the message.

  Body

    A data structure.  This may be as simple as a character string
    (represented by a name or text element), or complex structure of
    lists.  It may be encrypted in part or in whole.  Section 3.3
    describes some possible structured bodies.

  C

    A character.  Represented by a name element.

  CC

    A list of mailboxes.  When copies of a message are sent to others in
    addition to the addresses in the To object, those to whom the copies
    are sent will have their addresses recorded here.

  City

    A city.  Represented by a name element.

  Comments

    A comment string.  Represented by a text element.

  Count

    A count of items of some sort.  Represented by a integer element.

  Country

    A country.  Represented by a name element.

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  Date

    The date and time are represented according to the International
    Standards Organization (ISO) recommendations [19,20,21].  Taken
    together the ISO recommendations 2014, 3307, and 4031 result in the
    following representation of the date and time:

      yyyy-mm-dd-hh:mm:ss,fff+hh:mm

    Where yyyy is the four-digit year, mm is the two-digit month, dd is
    the two-digit day, hh is the two-digit hour in 24 hour time, mm is
    the two-digit minute, ss is the two-digit second, and fff is the
    decimal fraction of the second.  To this basic date and time is
    appended the offset from Greenwich as plus or minus hh hours and mm
    minutes.

    The time is local time and the offset is the difference between
    local time and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).  To convert from
    local time to UTC algebraically subtract the offset from the local
    time.

    For example, when the time in
              Los Angeles is  14:25:00-08:00
              the UTC is      22:25:00

    or when the time in
              Paris is        11:43:00+01:00
              the UTC is      10:43:00

  Device

    A device name.  Represented by a name element.

  Document

    A property list of fields.

  Distribution Group

    An distribution group is a property list which contains the
    following <name,value> pair:

      name    description
      ----    -----------
      GROUP   document distribution group name

    This construct is used so that a distribution group will be a
    special case of a mailbox.

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  Facsimile Structure

    A facsimile data structure.  Represented by a property list.

  File

    A file name.  Represented by a name element.

  Format

    A format indicator.  Represented by a name element.

  From

    A list of mailboxes.  The From is the name of the author of a
    document.

  Graphics Structure

    A graphics data structure.  Represented by a property list.

  Group

    A document distribution group name.  Represented by a name element.

  Host

    A host name.  Represented by a name element.

  Ident

    The identifier of a person, usually their initials.  Represented by
    a name element.

  In-Reply-To

    The message identifier of previous message.  Represented by a text
    element.

  Internet Address

    This identifies a host in the ARPA internetwork environment.  The
    internet address is a 32 bit number, the higher order 8 bits
    identify the network, and the lower order 24 bits identify the host
    on that network [22].  For use in this format the internet address
    is divided into eight bit fields and the value of each field is
    represented in decimal digits.  For example, the ARPANET address of
    ISIE is 167837748 and is represented as 10,1,0,52.  Further, this

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    representation may be extended to include an address within a host,
    such as the TCP port of an MPM, for example, 10,1,0,52,0,45.

  Keywords

    The key terms used in this message.  Represented by a text element.

  Mailbox

    This is the destination address of a user of the internetwork mail
    system.  Mailbox contains information such as network, host,
    location, and local user identifier of the recipient of the message.
    The mailbox may contain information in addition to the minimum
    required for delivery.

    As an example, when one sends a message to someone for the first
    time, he may include many items to aid in identifying the correct
    recipient.  However, once he gets a reply to this message, the reply
    will contain an Address (as opposed to Mailbox) which may be used
    from then on.

      A mailbox is a property list.  A mailbox might contain the
      following <name,value> pairs:

        name    description
        ----    -----------
        MPM     mpm-identifier
        NET     network name
        HOST    host name
        PORT    address of MPM within the host
        USER    user name (computer account name)
        PERSON  the real name of a person
        GROUP   document distribution group
        ORG     organization name
        CITY    city
        STATE   state
        COUNTRY country
        ZIP     zip code
        PHONE   phone number

    The minimum mail box is an Address or a Distribution Group.

  Message-ID

    The message identifier of this message.  This is not related to the
    MPM message identification, but is a UIP long term document
    identifier.  Represented by a text element.

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  MPM-Identifier

    The internetwork address of an MPM.  This may be the ARPA Internet
    Address or an X.121 Public Data Network Address [23].  The
    mpm-identifier is a property list which has one <name,value> pair.
    This unusual structure is used so that it will be easy to determine
    the type of address used.

  Net

    A network name.  Represented by a name element.

  NLS Block

    The information in an NLS node.  Represented by a property list.

  NLS Node

    An NLS block and substructure.  Represented by a property list.

  NLS Substructure

    A list of NLS nodes.  Represented by a list.

  Org

    An organization name.  Represented by a name element.

  Paragraph

    A paragraph of text.  Represented by a text element.

  Parcel

    The basic unit of voice data.  Represented by a bitstr element.

  Person

    The real name of a person.  Represented by a name element.

  Password

    A password.  Represented by a name element.

  Phone

    A phone number.  Represented by a name element.

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  Pointer

    A pointer to information stored outside this data structure.  A
    property list containing the information necessary to locate the
    external data, the information necessary to gain access to the
    external data, and the information necessary to apply the correct
    interpretation to the external data.  For example, this might
    include:

      name       description
      ----       -----------
      NET        network name
      HOST       host name
      FILE       file name
      USER       user name (computer account name)
      PASSWORD   password
      ACCOUNT    account
      FORMAT     format

  Port

    The address of MPM within the host.  Represented by a name element.

  Presentation Descriptor

    A property list of <name,value> pairs, where the name is an order
    indicator, and the value is a presentation element.  The order
    indicators are SEQUENTIAL, SIMULTANEOUS, and INDEPENDENT.

  Presentation Element

    A property list of media structures.

  Protocol

    The name of the coding scheme used for a medium.  Represented by a
    name element.

  References

    The message identifiers of other messages.  Represented by a list of
    text elements.

  Reply-To

    A list of mailboxes.  Sometimes it will be desired to direct the
    replies of a message to some address other than the from or the
    sender.  In such a case the reply-to object can be used.

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  R 450 Block

    The unit of Rapicom 450 data (585 bits).  Represented by a bitstr
    element.

  Sender

    A mailbox.  The sender will contain the address of the individual
    who sent the message.  In some cases this is NOT the same as the
    author of the message.  Under such a condition, the author should be
    specified in the from object.

  SID

    An NLS statement indetifier.  Represented by a integer element.

  State

    A state name.  Represented by a name element.

  Subject

    The subject of the message.  Represented by a text element.

  Text Structure

    A text data structure.  Represented by a property list.

  To

    A list of mailboxes.  To identifies the addressees of the message.

  User

    A user name (computer account name).  Represented by a name element.

  Version

    A version number.  Represented by a index element.

  Vocoder

    A vocoder name.  Represented by a name element.

  Voice Structure

    A voice data structure.  Represented by a property list.

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  X121 Address

    This identifies a host in the Public Data Network environment.  When
    used as a part of identifier, it identifies the originating host of
    a message.  The X121 address is a sequence of up to 14 digits [23].
    For use in this format the X121 address is represented in decimal
    digits.

  ZIP

    A zip code.  Represented by a name element.

2.3.  Body Structures

  2.3.1.  Simple Elements

    The body could simply be a single data element.  For example a
    single text element can represent a lengthy character string.

      <body> := TEXT

      or

      text:"this is the actual text of the body"

  2.3.2.  Structured Text

    The body could be thought of as paragraphs, where each paragraph is
    represented by a text element.  The paragraphs are then the elements
    of a list.

      <body> := LIST (<paragraph>, <paragraph>, ...)

        <paragraph> := TEXT

      or

      list:(text:"paragraph one", text:"paragraph two", ...)

  2.3.3.  NLS File Example

    It is possible to represent the data from NLS files in this format.
    NLS is a large multipurpose system which operates on structured data
    files.  The files are tree structured, and there is data associated
    with each node of the tree.  There are several fields associated
    with each node as well.

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    An NLS file is:

      proplist(                                                     file
        name:"FILENAME", name:<file>                        name of file
        name:"CREATION-DATE", name:<date>         creation date and time
        name:"VERSION", index:<version>              file version number
        name:"SID-COUNT", integer<count>               current SID count
        name:"LAST-WRITER", name:<ident>             last writer of file
        name:"OWNER", name:<ident>                         owner of file
        name:"LAST-WRITE-TIME", name:<date>     last write date and time
        name:"LEFT-NAME-DELIM-DEFAULT", name:<c>            default name
        name:"RIGHT-NAME-DELIM-DEFAULT", name:<c>             delimiters
        name:"SUBSTRUCTURE", <nls-substructure>             substructure
      )endlist

    An NLS substructure is:

      list:(                                                substructure
        <nls-node>                                 node is defined below
          .
          .
          .
      )endlist

    An NLS node is:

      proplist:(                                                    node
        name:"BLOCK", <nls-block>                    block defined below
        name:"SUBSTRUCTURE", <nls-substructure>             substructure
      )endlist

    An NLS block is:

      proplist:(                                                   block
        name:"LEFT-NAME-DELIM", name:<c>             left name delimiter
        name:"RIGHT-NAME-DELIM", name:<c>           right name delimiter
        name:"SID", integer:<sid>                             SID number
        name:"CREATOR", name:<ident>                   statement creator
        name:"CREATION-TIME", name:<date>         creation date and time
        name:"DATA", <data>                           data defined below
      )endlist

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    NLS data is:

      proplist:(                                                    data
        name:"<a data name>", <type depends on data name>
                    .           .
                    .           .
                    .           .
      )endlist

    For text, data is:

      proplist:(                                                    data
        name:"TEXT", text:"text of statement"                       text
      )endlist

  2.3.4.  Multimedia Structures

    One can conceive of graphical information being displayed along with
    a running commentary, much as seminars use slides.  A slide and its
    description are tied together.  The coordination of such a
    presentation is central to its understanding.  This synchronization
    should be captured within the document structure.

    There are three fundamentally different types of time ordered
    control which are needed within the document structure.  These are:

      Simultaneous
      Sequential
      Independent

    Simultaneous data is intended for synchronous presentation.  The
    implication is that this data is presented in parallel.

    Sequential data items will be presented one at a time, in the order
    listed.  The ordering is strictly left to right.

    Independent data can be presented in any time order.  It is not
    ordered in any manner.

    The data is broken into small information units called presentation
    elements or PEs.  The PEs can be combined in structures to control
    the presentation order.  A PE is a property list of elements
    representing information of various media.  For example:

      <pe> := proplist(
                name:"VOICE", <voice-structure>,
                name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics-structure>
              )endlist

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    PEs are combined into larger controled presentations by
    presentation-descriptors or PDs.  A PD is a property list which
    specifies the type of time ordering of the PEs in its list.

      <pd> := <<seq>> | <<sim>> | <<ind>>

      <<seq>> := name:"SEQUENTIAL", <pe>

      <<sim>> := name:"SIMULTANEOUS", <pe>

      <<ind>> := name:"INDEPENDENT", <pe>

    A PE is a property list of the media <name,value> pairs, or PDs.

      <pe> := <<text>> | <<voice>> | <<facsimile>>
            | <<graphics>> | <pd>

      <<text>> := name:"TEXT", <text structure>

      <<voice>> := name:"VOICE", <voice structure>

      <<facsimile>> := name:"FACSIMILE", <facsimile structure>

      <<graphics>> := name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>

    If more than one <name,value> pair is present within a PE the media
    are presented on different output devices in the order specified by
    the PE's parent PD.  The order of appearance within the proplist is
    important only in the event that the parent PD specified sequential
    ordering.

    The structure of multimedia messages which use this scheme will be
    demonstrated by a few simple examples chosen to illustrate a basic
    text document and the different ordering options.  The last example
    will suggest some more exotic uses.

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    Plain Text Message

      A simple text body could be represented in a single text data
      structure.  To give the simplest example of a structured body we
      show a simple text body represented in the multimedia structure.

        <body> := <pd>

          <pd> := <<seq>>

            <<seq>> :=  name:"SEQUENTIAL", <pe>

              <pe> := name:"TEXT", <text structure>

        or

        proplist: (name:"SEQUENTIAL",
                  proplist:(
                    name:"TEXT", <text structure>
                  )endlist
        )endlist

    Simultaneous Ordering

      This ordering option is used to indicate when separate streams are
      to be presented in parallel.  For example, assume GRAPHICS and
      VOICE data were to be presented using simultaneously.

        <body> := <pd>

          <pd> := <<sim>>

            <<sim>> :=  name:"SIMULTANEOUS", <pe>

              <pe> := name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                      name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>

        or

        proplist:(
          name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
            proplist:(
              name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
              name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
            )endlist
        )endlist

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    Sequential Ordering

      This option is used to indicate sequential time ordering.  The
      media in the sub-tree below this PD are not separate streams.
      Using again the example above, assume GRAPHICS and VOICE data were
      to be presented using sequential ordering.

        <body> := <pd>

          <pd> := <<seq>>

            <<seq>> :=  name:"SEQUENTIAL", <pe>

              <pe> := name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                      name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>

        or

        proplist:(
          name:"SEQUENTIAL",
            proplist:(
              name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
              name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
            )endlist
        )endlist

    Independent Ordering

      It is apparent that some output devices are very slow in
      comparison to others.  An example which demonstrates this is
      facsimile.  The majority of facsimile devices are slow.  A
      detailed picture transmitted at 9600 baud takes minutes to print.
      It is inconvenient for the user to wait on such a device when the
      voice or text information which accompanies it is short.

      For example, if the document a facsimile image and the text
      "Hello Frank, here's a copy of that picture you requested."  The
      user need not wait for the picture.  The facsimile machine might
      be spooled, in which case he would pick up the picture later.  In
      a sense the picture was time independent of the text.

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        <body> := <pd>

          <pd> := <<ind>>

            <<ind>> :=  name:"INDEPENDENT", <pe>

              <pe> := name:"FACSIMILE", <facsimile structure>
                      name:"TEXT", <text structure>

        or

        proplist:(
          name:"INDEPENDENT",
            proplist:(
              name:"FACSIMILE", <facsimile structure>
              name:"TEXT", <text structure>
            )endlist
        )endlist

    A Stream Example

      By making use of the structure and the sequential ordering option
      it is possible to initiate a stream.  The stream will proceed at
      its own pace until concluded.

        <body> := <pd>

          <pd> := <<seq>>

            <<seq>> :=  name:"SEQUENTIAL", <pe>

              <pe> := <pd>

                <pd> := <<sim>>

                  <<sim>> :=  name:"SIMULTANEOUS", <pe>

                    <pe> := name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                            name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>

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        or

        proplist:(
          name:"SEQUENTIAL",
            proplist:(
              name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
                proplist:(
                  name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                  name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
                )endlist,
              name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
                proplist:(
                  name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                  name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
                )endlist,
              .
              .
              .
            )endlist
        )endlist

      Such a document structure suggests a slide presentation.

    Multiple Active Stream Example

      This example is exotic but illustrates what is possible. By making
      use of the structure and the simultaneous ordering it is possible
      to start in parallel two or more separate streams. Each stream
      will proceed at its own pace until all are concluded.

        <body> := <pd>

          <pd> := name:"SIMULTANEOUS", <pe>

            <pe> = <pd>

              <pd> := name:"SEQUENTIAL", <pe>

                <pe> = <pd>

                  <pd> := name:"SIMULTANEOUS", <pe>

                    <pe> := name:"VOICE",
                                                       <voice structure>
                            name:"GRAPHICS",
                                                    <graphics structure>

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        or

        proplist:(
         name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
           proplist:(
             name:"SEQUENTIAL",
               proplist:(
                 name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
                   proplist:(
                     name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                     name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
                   )endlist,
                 name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
                    proplist:(
                      name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                      name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
                    )endlist,
                 .
                 .
                 .
               )endlist
             name:"SEQUENTIAL",
               proplist:(
                 name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
                   proplist:(
                     name:"VOICE", <voice structure>
                     name:"GRAPHICS", <graphics structure>
                   )endlist,
                 .
                 .
                 .
               )endlist
           )endlist
        )endlist

  2.3.5.  The Media

    So far no explicit description has been given for the media classes
    which fit into a PE.  It is not known what types of media will be
    supported in the various document stations in the future. Those for
    which support is in part already available are:

      TEXT
      VOICE
      FACSIMILE
      GRAPHICS

    Standard formats for data in each of these media must be defined.

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Specification

  2.3.6.  TEXT

    The text data may be structured according to a variety of protocols
    (yet to be defined).  The top level of the data structure is a
    property list which identifies the protocol, and the version of that
    protocol.

      name:"TEXT", proplist:(
                      name:"PROTOCOL", <protocol>,
                      name:"VERSION", <version>,
                      name:"DATA", <data>
                    )endlist

    The first protocol is called PARAGRAPH, and the data is a list of
    paragraphs, where each paragraph is a text element.

      name:"DATA", list:(
                     text: <paragraph>
                     text: <paragraph>
                     .
                     .
                     .
                   )endlist

  2.3.7.  VOICE

    Since a good deal of research has been done towards implementing the
    transmission of voice data on the ARPANET, the Network Voice
    Protocol (NVP) provides the basis for the standard for voice data
    [24].

    Voice data a property list which specifies the vocoder being used,
    the transmission protocol and the parcel data.  The parcel data form
    is specific to the protocol used and is grouped in lists.

      name:"VOICE", proplist:(
                      name:"VOCODER", <vocoder>,
                      name:"PROTOCOL", <protocol>,
                      name:"VERSION", <version>,
                      name:"DATA", <data>
                    )endlist

    The NVP protocol has a number of parameters, the version number
    specifies a certain set of the parameters used by the vocoder
    hardware and software to set up timing and define the type of coding
    used.  It is not expected that within a document the version number
    will change.

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                                                           Specification

    NVP itself supports negotiation of these parameters to insure both
    ends of a network speech connection 'understand' one another.  Since
    no such interactive negotiation is possible in a document system,
    negotiation capabilities have been excluded.  As differing hardware
    becomes available new versions may be defined.

    For the NVP protocol the data list will take the following form:

      name:"DATA", list:(
                     bitstr: <parcel>
                     bitstr: <parcel>
                     .
                     .
                     .
                   )endlist

    The items in the list are parcels.  The individual parcels  are bit
    string data elements whose contents and length are predefined by the
    version number.  The number of parcels in a parcel group is
    available from the item count in the enclosing list header.

  2.3.8.  FACSIMILE

    There are a number of facsimile devices in use.  While standards are
    being established by CCITT [25], of the devices available today many
    are incompatible due to proprietary compression algorithms.  The
    description of fax data will allow for the possibility of several
    protocols.

      name:"FACSIMILE", proplist:(
                          name:"DEVICE", <device>,
                          name:"PROTOCOL", <protocol>,
                          name:"DATA", <data>
                        )endlist

    There are few facsimile devices interfaced to computers though, and
    the existing experiments in the ARPANET all use the RAPICOM 450.  A
    first facsimile standard format will be based on the data structure
    used for this machine [26].  That is, for device RAPICOM450 and
    protocol BLOCK, the data will be:

      name:"DATA", list:(
                     bitstr:<r450-block>,
                     bitstr:<r450-block>,
                     .
                     .
                     .
                   )endlist

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Specification

    Where an r450-block is a 585 bit unit.

  2.3.9.  GRAPHICS

    The situation for graphics bears much similarity to facsimile.
    Devices on the market today have a variety of user interfaces and
    options. A similar structure is defined.

      name:"GRAPHICS", proplist:(
                          name:"DEVICE", <device>,
                          name:"PROTOCOL", <protocol>,
                          name:"DATA", <data>
                        )endlist

    There are several candidate protocols for use in describing graphics
    data in documents.  One is the Network Graphics Protocol [27],
    another is the Graphics Language [28,29], and a third is the
    SIGGRAPH Core System [30].

[Page 24]                                                         Postel

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents

                        3.  EXAMPLES & SCENARIOS

Example 1:  Text Example

  Suppose we want to send the following message:

    Date: 1979-03-29-11:46-08:00
    From: Jon Postel <Postel@ISIF>
    Subject: Meeting Thursday
    To: Danny Cohen <Cohen@ISIB>
    CC: Linda

    Danny:

    Please mark your calendar for our meeting Thursday at 3 pm.

    --jon.

  It will be encoded in the structured format.  The following will
  present successive steps in the top down generation of this message.
  The identification and command portions of the messages will not be
  expanded here (see [1]).

  1.  message

  2.  (identification, command, document)

  3.  (ID:<<identification>>,
       CMD:<<command>>,
       DOC:( date, from, subject, to, cc, body))

  4.  (ID:<<identification>>,
       CMD:<<command>>,
       DOC:(DATE:date,
            FROM:from
            SUBJECT:subject,
            TO:to,
            CC:cc,
            BODY:body))

  5.  (ID:<<identification>>,
       CMD:<<command>>,
       DOC:(DATE: 1979-03-29-11:46-08:00,
            FROM: (NET:ARPANET,HOST:ISIF,USER:Postel,PERSON:Jon Postel),
            SUBJECT: Meeting Thursday,
            TO: (NET:ARPANET,HOST:ISIB,USER:Cohen,PERSON:Danny Cohen),
            CC: (NET:ARPANET,HOST:ISIF,USER:Linda),
            BODY:
              Danny:

Postel                                                         [Page 25]

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A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents
Examples & Scenarios

              Please mark your calendar for our meeting
              Thursday at 3 pm.

              --jon.))

  6.  PROPLIST:
       (ID:<<identification>>,
        CMD:<<command>>,
        DOC:
          PROPLIST:(
            DATE: 1979-03-29-11:46-08:00,
            FROM:
              LIST:(
                PROPLIST:(
                  NET:ARPANET,
                  HOST:ISIF,
                  USER:Postel,
                  PERSON:Jon Postel,
                )ENDLIST,
              )ENDLIST,
            SUBJECT: Meeting Thursday,
            TO:
              LIST:(
                PROPLIST:(
                  NET:ARPANET,
                  HOST:ISIB,
                  USER:Cohen,
                  PERSON:Danny Cohen,
                )ENDLIST,
              )ENDLIST,
            CC:
              LIST:(
                PROPLIST:(
                  NET:ARPANET,
                  HOST:ISIF,
                  USER:Linda,
                )ENDLIST,
              )ENDLIST,
            BODY:
              Danny:

              Please mark your calendar for our meeting
              Thursday at 3 pm.

              --jon.
          )ENDLIST
        )ENDLIST

[Page 26]                                                         Postel

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents
                                                    Examples & Scenarios

  7.  proplist:(
        name:"ID", <<identification>>,
        name:"CMD", <<command>>,
        name:"DOC",
          proplist:(
            name:"DATE", name:"1979-03-29-11:46-08:00",
            name:"FROM",
              list:(
                proplist:(
                  name:"NET", name:"ARPANET",
                  name:"HOST", name:"ISIF",
                  name:"USER", name:"Postel",
                  name:"PERSON", name:"Jon Postel",
                )endlist,
              )endlist,
            name:"SUBJECT", text:"Meeting Thursday",
            name:"TO",
              list:(
                proplist:(
                  name:"NET", name:"ARPANET",
                  name:"HOST", name:"ISIB",
                  name:"USER", name:"Cohen",
                  name:"PERSON", name:"Danny Cohen",
                )endlist,
              )endlist,
            name:"CC",
              list:(
                proplist:(
                  name:"NET", name:"ARPANET",
                  name:"HOST", name:"ISIF",
                  name:"USER", name:"Linda",
                )endlist,
              )endlist,
            name:"BODY",
              text:"Danny:

                    Please mark your calendar for our
                    meeting Thursday at 3 pm.

                    --jon."
          )endlist
        )endlist

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A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents
Examples & Scenarios

Example 2:  Multimedia Example

      proplist:(
        name:"ID", <<identification>>,
        name:"CMD", <<command>>,
        name:"DOC",
          proplist:(
            name:"DATE", name:"1980-08-06-11:46-08:00",
            name:"FROM",
              list:(
                proplist:(
                  name:"NET", name:"ARPANET",
                  name:"HOST", name:"ISIF",
                  name:"USER", name:"Postel",
                  name:"PERSON", name:"Jon Postel",
                )endlist,
              )endlist,
            name:"SUBJECT", text:"Multimedia Test Message",
            name:"TO",
              list:(
                proplist:(
                  name:"GROUP", name:"Multimedia Experiment List",
                )endlist,
              )endlist,
            name:"CC",
              list:(
                proplist:(
                  name:"NET", name:"ARPANET",
                  name:"HOST", name:"ISIF",
                  name:"USER", name:"Linda",
                )endlist,
              )endlist,
            name:"BODY",
              proplist:(
                name:"SEQUENTIAL",
                  proplist:(
                    name:"TEXT",
                      proplist:(
                        name:"PROTOCOL", name:"PARAGRAPH",
                        name:"VERSION", index:"1",
                        name:"DATA",
                          list:(
                            text:"This is a test of multimedia mail."
                            text:"I hope you like it."
                          )endlist
                      )endlist

[Page 28]                                                         Postel

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                                                    Examples & Scenarios

                    name:"SIMULTANEOUS",
                      proplist:(
                        name:"VOICE",
                          proplist:(
                            name:"VOCODER", name:<vocoder>,
                            name:"PROTOCOL", name:"NVP",
                            name:"VERSION", index:"1",
                            name:"DATA",
                              list:(
                                bitstr:<parcel>
                                bitstr:<parcel>
                              )endlist
                          )endlist
                        name:"GRAPHICS",
                          proplist:(
                            name:"DEVICE", name:<device>,
                            name:"PROTOCOL", name:<protocol>,
                            name:"VERSION", index:<version>,
                            name:"DATA",<data>
                              )endlist
                          )endlist
                      )endlist
                name:"SEQUENTIAL",
                  proplist:(
                    name:"TEXT,
                      proplist:(
                        name:"PROTOCOL", name:"PARAGRAPH",
                        name:"VERSION", index:"1",
                        name:"DATA",
                          list:(
                            text:"That was supposed to be some voice
                                  and graphics in parallel."
                            text:"--jon."
                          )endlist
                      )endlist
                  )endlist
                )endlist
              )endlist
         )endlist

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[Page 30]                                                         Postel

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents

                               REFERENCES

[1]   Postel, J., "Internet Message Protocol," RFC 759, 113,
      USC/Information Sciences Institute, August 1980.

[2]   Bhushan, A., K. Pogran, R. Tomlinson, and J. White, "Standardizing
      Network Mail Headers," RFC 561, NIC 18516, September 1973.

[3]   Myer, T., and D. Henderson, "Message Transmission Protocol,"
      RFC 680, NIC 32116, 30 April 1975.

[4]   Crocker, D., J. Vittal, K. Pogran, and D. Henderson, "Standard for
      the Format of ARPA Network Text Messages," RFC 733, NIC 41952,
      21 November 1977.

[5]   Barber, D., and J. Laws, "A Basic Mail Scheme for EIN," INWG 192,
      February 1979.

[6]   Braaten, O., "Introduction to a Mail Protocol," Norwegian
      Computing Center, INWG 180, August 1978.

[7]   Crocker, D., E. Szurkowski, and D. Farber, "An Internetwork Memo
      Distribution Capability - MMDF," Sixth Data Communications
      Symposium, ACM/IEEE, November 1979.

[8]   Haverty, J., D. Henderson, and D. Oestreicher, "Proposed
      Specification of an Inter-site Message Protocol," 8 July 1975.

[9]   Thomas, R., "Providing Mail Services for NSW Users," BBN NSW
      Working Note 24, Bolt Beranek and Newman, October 1978.

[10]  White, J., "A Proposed Mail Protocol," RFC 524, NIC 17140, SRI
      International, 13 June 1973.

[11]  White, J., "Description of a Multi-Host Journal," NIC 23144, SRI
      International, 30 May 1974.

[12]  White, J., "Journal Subscription Service," NIC 23143, SRI
      International, 28 May 1974.

[13]  Levin, R., and M. Schroeder, "Transport of Electronic Messages
      Through a Network," Teleinformatics 79, Boutmy & Danthine (eds.)
      North Holland Publishing Co., 1979.

[14]  Earnest, L., and J. McCarthy, "DIALNET: A Computer Communications
      Study," Computer Science Department, Stanford University, August
      1978.

Postel                                                         [Page 31]

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A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents
References

[15]  Crispin M., "DIALNET: A Telephone Network Data Communications
      Protocol," DECUS Proceedings, Fall 1979.

[16]  Caulkins, D., "The Personal Computer Network (PCNET) Project: A
      Status Report," Dr. Dobbs Journal of Computer Calisthenics and
      Orthodontia,  v.5, n.6, June 1980.

[17]  Postel, J., "NSW Transaction Protocol (NSWTP)," USC/Information
      Sciences Institute, IEN 38, May 1978.

[18]  Haverty, J., "MSDTP -- Message Services Data Transmission
      Protocol," RFC 713, NIC 34739, April 1976.

[19]  ISO-2014, "Writing of calendar dates in all-numeric form,"
      Recommendation 2014, International Organization for
      Standardization, 1975.

[20]  ISO-3307, "Information Interchange -- Representations of time of
      the day," Recommendation 3307, International Organization for
      Standardization, 1975.

[21]  ISO-4031, "Information Interchange -- Representation of local time
      differentials," Recommendation 4031, International Organization
      for Standardization, 1978.

[22]  Postel, J.,  "DOD Standard Internet Protocol," USC/Information
      Sciences Institute, IEN 128, NTIS number AD A079730, January 1980.

[23]  CCITT-X.121, "International Numbering Plan for Public Data
      Networks," Recommendation X.121, CCITT, Geneva, 1978.

[24]  Cohen, D., "Specifications for the Network Voice Protocol (NVP),"
      NIC 42444, RFC 741, NSC 68, RR-75-39, USC/Information Sciences
      Institute, January 1976.

[25]  CCITT-T.30, "Procedures for Document Facsimile Transmission in the
      General Switched Telephone Network," Recommendation T.30, Orange
      Book, V. 7, The International Telephone and Telegraph Consulative
      Committee,  International Telecommunication Union, Geneva, 1977.

[26]  Treadwell, S., "FAX File Format," ARPANET Message, 14 November
      1979.

[27]  Sproull, R., and E. Thomas, "A Network Graphics Protocol,"
      NIC 24308, Xerox Palo Alto Research Center, August 1974.

[Page 32]                                                         Postel

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           A Structured Format for Transmission of Multi-Media Documents
                                                              References

[28]  Bisbey, R., and D. Hollingworth, "A Distributable,
      Display-Device-Independent Vector Graphics System for Command and
      Control," RR-80-87, USC/Information Sciences Institute, July 1980.

[29]  Bisbey, R., D. Hollingworth, and B. Britt, "Graphics Language,"
      TM-80-18, USC/Information Sciences Institute, July 1980.

[30]  Graphics Standard Planning Committee, "Core System," Computer
      Graphics, V. 13, N. 3, SIGGRAPH, ACM, August 1979.

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