Transparent Gateways to and from FidoNet <tm>
                           Technical Considerations

                            Michael Shiels 22 June 89

Copyright 1989, Michael Shiels.  All rights reserved.  The right to distribute 
for non-commercial use is granted to the FidoNet Technical Standards Committee,
provided that no fee is charged.  This may be posted on FidoNet electronic BBSs
which charge no fee for accessing this document.  Any and all other reproduction
or excerpting requires the explicit written consent of the author.


Gatewaying between Fidonet and other networks seems to be the latest feature
which hopefully brings more benefits to the users of each network.  But there
are some real problems with gatewaying and doing "transparent" replies.
This proposal should allow for almost totally transparent gateways but requires
the co-operation of BBS software writers to support this following protocol.

Incoming Messages

When a message is entered into fidonet from another network it will be entering
through one machine (say 1/2).  The userid on the other network may not match
very will with the 2 word 36 character userid on Fidonet.  So the following is
done to store away the proper userid of the sender.

Two (2) lines are added to the message (usually at the top of the text portion
hidden by the infamous ^A KLUDGE).


which signifies the FULL userid of the person on the other network.  The first
36 characters or the full userid if less than 36 characters long, are stored
in the FROM field of the message header.  When replies are done they use a 
second line of the following form.

^REPLYTO zone:net/node firstname lastname

which is used to signify the "userid" which mail destined to this other network
must be sent to and on which machine that userids resides.  Replies are sent
to this zone:net/node and userid with the first line of the message being
changed into 'TO: ....' where .... is the FULL userid from the ^AREPLYADDR

Should you have constructive correction or criticism, please contact:

Michael Shiels
FidoNet: 1:250/410   michael.shiels@masnet.fidonet.org
uucp: ?!tmsoft!masnet!michael.shiels
Internet: michael.shiels@masnet.uucp

FidoNet is a trademark of Tom Jennings and Fido Software, to whom we all owe
        much thanks for the origin and spirit of FidoNet.