FSC-0004 Date: Mon 9 Feb 87 21:46 From: Randy Bush on 105/6, PSG Portland of VanPort Area, Portland OR To: Wynn Wagner on 124/108, The POLE: Opu of Dallas Metrop, Dallas TX Subj: Re: Zones The FSC has been working with existing implementations based on a year or two old paper by Kilgore Trout describing Zones and Points, zone gates, and nodes supporting points. [ The paper was published in FidoNews last year, but unfortunately was mostly to do with exploiting FidoNet financially, but had pretty good technical requirements buried underneath. ] The FSC's goal is to send to some place for which one does not have the nodelist. The underlying problem we are addressing is nodelist growth. We envision over 10^5 nodes in a few years. Our approach may be a bit more disjoint than you were considering. We have private nodelists already, and many of us use them (including remapping to private nodelists using Points and/or addressees' names). This has been in use for long enough that we almost understand half the uses to which folk seem to put it. But the important part of Zones is not the nomenclature, rather the mapping of addresses. What the FSC was seeking with Zones (and is implemented and being tested) is a method of getting mail to Bialystok (sp) without having a Polish phone book. In the following example, please imagine possible sugar such as using POLAND for 42 etc. When I, 1:105/6 address a message to Krzystzof in Bialystok, 42:451/666, it addresses the message header to <irrelevant> and creates a ^a line something like ^aINTL 42:451/666 1:105/6 The ^aINTL line is noticed by a smart router at either my node, or my outbound host's node. To date the only ways to create the ^aINTL line are SEAdog's Mail program and some private utilities. Either in a batch run on the smart node (currently implemented by the program ZoneGate) or in a truely smart mailer program (not yet known) the smart router changes the destination net/node of the message containing the ^aINTL to the outbound gateway to (or toward) zone 42 by a simple algorithm shown below. Thus, the message will travel within zone 1 (this zone) as if its final destination was the net/node of the outbound gate. This allows Opera and Fidos 11w to carry it on its meanderings within any particular zone. When it arrives at the destination outbound zone gate, the smart router there notices it, and o may strip the seenbys (we had thought of it but not yet implemented it) except for that of the zonegate o hands the message to the corresponding inbound zone gate by an unspecified means (intl zone gates tend to be other than FidoNet) The recipient inbound zone gate looks at the message's ^aINTL line and, using the same algorithm as all the other smart routers that have seen the message, (* I hope you were waiting for the algorithm *) IF msg.aINTL.toZone = myzone THEN msg.address := msg.aINTL.toNetNode ELSE msg.address := outboundZoneGate [ msg.aINTL.toZone ] And thus the message travels onward, with its header address net/node representing it's intra-zone routing within the current zone and the ^aINTL line showing smart routers the true final destination. Observe that smart routers and zone gates only need know the local addresses of the outbound zone gates from their own zone's nodelist, and nothing about the nodelists of other zones. One imagines the truely international FidoNet having more than 10^5 nodes, with Opera and Fidos and other pre-Zone clones will carrying the international traffic on its way within a zone in complete innocence. The return address for the message is also stored in the ^aINTL line, so a 'smart' recipient node can reply. Rather than trading private nodelists, the only information that needs to be given to smart routers is the addresses of zone gates out of the current zone. And, of course anybody can set up Zones, zone gates, and all those nice egalitarian sentiments, all they need is a simple mapping utility and a way of telling folk that they're a zone gate and to what. There are some who consider a Unix gate merely a zone gate. Usenet certainly is another zone.