Network Working Group
Request for Comments: 458
NIC: 14378
B. Bressler
B. Thomas
20 February 1973

Mail Retrieval via FTP

We propose two new FTP commands called ReaDMailFile and ReaDMail. These commands are intended to be symmetric with respect to the current MLFL and MAIL commands. They would allow a user to read his mail at one or more sites without incurring the overhead of logging in and without having to use several different retrieval methods. The user might go further and create a program to go around to all the server sites and retrieve his mail for him. The current FTP mechanisms provide for password protection, should security be required.

This proposal brings into focus, once again, the problems of different users with the same ID, and to a lesser extent, one user with multiple IDs. This RFC does not attempt to address these issues at this time, as much effort is currently being devoted to them. However, we believe that a satisfactory system for network mail should include a mechanism to enable each user to have mail for him sent to a single repository (ideally, the site of his choice). We further believe that the two commands proposed here would be useful in such an environment as well as within the current network environment.

The format of the commands is

              success        fail
   RDMF       200,250,330    433,450,451,454,455,457,500,507
              secondary replies:
              252            452
   RDML       152,330        433,450,451,455,500,507

The success reply 200 would take the text "NO MAIL NOW". For the RDMF command the mail itself is transferred over the data connection, and the FTP replies come over the TELNET connection.

For the RDML command both the mail and the FTP replies come over the TELNET connection. The reply 152 is a new code meaning "mail text follows" the text that follows may be "NO MAIL NOW".

          [This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry]
     [into the online RFC archives by Helene Morin, Via Genie 12/1999]