Document: FSC-0038
Version:  001
Date:     02/22/90





                   A Domain Proposal For Fidonet(r)

                              jim nutt
                          1:114/30@fidonet


     

     Information:

         This FSC suggests a proposed protocol for the FidoNet
         community, and requests discussion and suggestions for
         improvements.  Distribution of this document is
         unlimited.




A. Rationale

A recent proliferation of alternative networks based on Fidonet
technology has brought to light the difficulty of maintaining a fully
coupled addressing method for Fidonet.  Additionally, Fidonet has
joined the Internet,  revealing a need for a transparent scheme for
addressing messages across the networks.  It is therefore proposed that
a system be established whereby geographical or political sub units of
the network can be broken off into an independent network called a
"domain".  These networks will be fully independent, even to the point
of having duplicate net/node numbers or using a different addressing
scheme altogether.  This will allow continued growth of Fidonet without
necessitating that the nodelist grow to an unmanageable size (if it isn't
already there).  Among the advantages of this type of system are reduced
nodelist overhead, easier inter-network communication and greater autonomy
of alternative networks.  This document will only cover the definition  of
the necessary addressing extensions to support domain based addressing.
It will not attempt to define standards for gating mail and conferences
between domains.


B. Description

It is proposed that domain addressing be implemented in a fashion similar
to the current ZONE extended addressing method.  Domain names will be case
insensitive.  The domain extended addressing line will be comprised of a
leading SOH (^A, 0x01) followed by the keyword "DOMAIN", the destination
domain of the message and then the full address (zone:net/node.point) of
the destination node in that domain, followed by the source domain of the
message and the full address of the originating node.  The line will be
terminated by a <CR> (0x0d) and an optional linefeed (0x0a), fields within
the line will be separated by one or more spaces or tabs. i.e.

     ^ADOMAIN  dstdmn daddress srcdmn saddress

Where "dstdmn" is the name of the destination domain and "daddress" is
the address of the destination system in a format appropriate to the
destination domain.  "srcdmn" and "saddress" are similar, except that they
express the origination address of the message in a format appropriate to
the originating domain.  This allows a seamless gateway to the Internet
and other large system networks.  The destination address in the FTS-001
message header should be that of a gateway to the destination domain.


C. Summary

Domains are independent networks that are fully decoupled from the
Fidonet nodelist.  Message traffic is passed back and forth between
domains via domain gateways that can understand the DOMAIN extended
addressing line and act accordingly upon the message.  The advantages
include reduced nodelist size and easier communication with other
networks.