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Alternate Nodelist Flag Proposal

by Marshall Presnell

November 13, 1987

Permission to reprint and distribute this document is
granted so long as no payments are incurred for the use and
distribution of this document and the author is credited.

$Revision: 1.1 $


Rev 1.1 13 Nov 1987 15:50:56 M. Presnell
Added Update log into document body


A Proposal

In order to properly code a function to read and interpret
the nodelist flags, several vexing problems arise. The most
significant problem is simply figuring out the capabilities
of the software running at a particular node. In order to
solve this confusion, I propose the following standards to
be accepted by the FTSC, IFNA, and any other anciliary
organizations which contribute to the content and
maintenance of the nodelist.

First, a code needs to be established for each piece of
NETMAIL PROTOCOL CAPABLE software. This defines exactly WHAT
will answer the phone and transfer mail according to FTSC
netmail protocol standards. For the current arena of
software, I propose the flag and operand approach as

ST: <- the FLAG, ST meaning System Type


FD1 - Fido Version 11?
FD2 - Fido Version 12?
SD? - SEAdog version ?
OP1 - Opus version 1.?
BT? - BinkleyTerm version ?
TY? - Tabby version ?
DT? - Dutchie version ?
(and others as needed, apologies to those I omitted)

Therefore, the complete type flag would read:

ST:FD2 for Fido v12x
ST:OP1 for Opus version 1.xx
ST:SD4 for SEAdog version 4.x

This gives the nodelist processor (and we illogical
humans) a much easier time in interpreting the
nodelist. I also recommend that the operands be of a
set length (in the above example, 3 characters).

Second, a PROTOCOL code needs to be established, using the
same FLAG:OPERAND approach as the system type flag. In this

PR: <- The FLAG, meaning PRotocol

and the operands:

TS - TSYNC (Fido v11 and v12)
SL - SEAdog Link (SEAdog)
WZ - WaZoo (Opus)
others as the technology progresses.

The operand field may contain multiple operands, as

PR:WZ/TS <- to indicate an Opus system

In the event of multiple operands, the most desired
protocol for network communications should be first in
the list of operands.

Third, the operation hours, as before in a FLAG:OPERAND
combination as follows:

OH: <- Operation Hours

This flag is followed by the operation hours of the
system regarding inbound MAIL only. The operation hours
are in a fixed format as follows:


where D is the day number (Sunday being 1), HH is the
24 hour military hour, and MM is the minute. A special
case of the day being 0 means all days 1 through 7. ALL
times are EST (purely arbitrary, but ALL times in the
nodelist should have a common base reference time).
Therefore, a system which runs national mail time only
would be as follows:


Multiple operational hours may be specified by
separating the separate time specifiers with a slash
as follows:


Continuous inbound mail would be indicated as follows:


It is important to note that these times are when the
system is able to RECEIVE mail. These are NOT the
actual operation hours of the BBS (if one exists at
that node).

The time known as National Mail Hour (04:00 to 05:00
EST) is automatically ASSUMED and need not be
incorporated into the FLAGS field. Since it is one of
the baseline requirements for being listed in the
nodelist, this assumption is a relatively safe one.

Also, this method should also be used to indicate the
time(s) when File Requests are accepted. The suggested
flag for File Requests is "FR:" and follows the same
time specification logic as the OH: flag.

Fourth, modem flags need to be standardized (until the
modems themselves can be standardized), for a hopefully
"stop gap" measure, we could use the following:

MDM: for the flag,

TLB for Telebit Trailblazer
HST for USR Courier HST
H96 for Hayes 9600
(and others as needed)

Only ONE of these modem types can appear per node, and
it has no relavence unless the baud rate is greater
than or equal to 9600.

(This is one of those flags we can get rid of once the

modem manufacturors establish a standard.)

Fifth, the Mail Only flag. Basically, it need to be changed
to "#MO" instead of "MO:". All flags which do not have
operands should not contain the colon (:) character.

Flags occur following the seventh comma in a nodelist line
and continue to the end of the physical line. All flags and
flag:operand combinations are separated by commas, with the
last flag on the line terminated by the end of line
character. Order of the flags is not critical.


I hope this proposal will serve to elicit ideas and comment.
Please direct any inaccuracies, suggestions for improvement,
comments, and constructive criticism to Marshall Presnell
at Fido node 109/639.106

Thank you.

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