RFC # 733
NIC # 41952

Obsoletes: RFC #561 (NIC #18516)
RFC #680 (NIC #32116)
RFC #724 (NIC #37435)


21 November 1977


David H. Crocker
The Rand Corporation

John J. Vittal
Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

Kenneth T. Pogran
Massachusets Institute of Technology

D. Austin Henderson, Jr.(2)
Bolt Beranek and Newman Inc.

(1)This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research
Projects Agency of the Department of Defense, under contract Nos.
N00014-75-C-0661, MDA903-76-C-0212, and DAHC15-73-C0181.

(2)The authors' postal addresses are: D. Crocker, The Rand
Corporation, Information Sciences Dept., 1700 Main St., Santa
Monica, California 90406; J. Vittal & D. A. Henderson, Bolt
Beranek & Newman, 50 Moulton St., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138;
and K. Pogran, MIT Laboratory for Computer Science, 545
Technology Square, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139. The authors'
ARPANET addresses are: DCrocker at Rand-Unix, Vittal at BBN-
TenexD, Pogran at MIT-Multics, and Henderson at BBN-TenexD.



ARPA's Committee on Computer-Aided Human Communication
(CAHCOM) wishes to promulgate a standard for the format of ARPA
Network text message (mail) headers which will reasonably meet
the needs of the various message service subsystems on the
Network today. The authors of this document constitute the
CAHCOM subcommittee charged with the task of developing this new

Essentially, we specify a revision to ARPANET Request for
Comments (RFC) 561, "Standardizing Network Mail Headers", and RFC
680, "Message Transmission Protocol". This revision removes and
compacts portions of the previous syntax and adds several
features to network address specification. In particular, we
focus on people and not mailboxes as recipients and allow
reference to stored address lists. We expect this syntax to
provide sufficient capabilities to meet most users' immediate
needs and, therefore, give developers enough breathing room to
produce a new mail transmission protocol "properly". We believe
that there is enough of a consensus in the Network community in
favor of such a standard syntax to make possible its adoption at
this time. An earlier draft of this specification was published
as RFC #724, "Proposed Official Standard for the Format of ARPA
Network Messages" and contained extensive discussion of the
background and issues in ARPANET mail standards.

This specification was developed over the course of one
year, using the ARPANET mail environment, itself, to provide an
on-going forum for discussing the capabilities to be included.
More than twenty individuals, from across the country,
participated in this discussion and we would like to acknowledge
their considerable efforts. The syntax of the standard was
originally specified in the Backus-Naur Form (BNF) meta-language.
Ken L. Harrenstien, of SRI International, was responsible for
re-coding the BNF into an augmented BNF which compacts the
specification and allows increased comprehensibility...


Full Text: |rfc733.txt.pdf