FSC-0020

                     Alternate Nodelist Flag Proposal

                           by Marshall Presnell
                              (109/639.106)

                            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  $

       $Log:   E:/SRC/NLPROC/PROJFILE/NODELIST.PRV  $
   
      Rev 1.1   13 Nov 1987 15:50:56   M. Presnell
   Added Update log into document body

       ------------------------------------------------------------
       
                              NODELIST FLAGS
                                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
       follows:
       
            ST: <- the FLAG, ST meaning System Type
       
            Operands:
       
            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
       case:
       
            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
            follows:
       
            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:
       
                 D.HHMM-D.HHMM
       
            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:
       
                 OH:0.0400-0.0500
       
            Multiple  operational  hours  may  be  specified  by
            separating the separate time specifiers with a slash
            as follows:
       
                 OH:D.HHMM-D.HHMM/D.HHMM-D.HHMM/D.HHMM-D.HHMM
       
            Continuous inbound mail would be indicated as follows:
       
                 OH:1.0000-7.2359
       
            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.