Document: FSC-0046
Version:  005
Date:     30-Aug-94








            A Product Idenfifier for FidoNet Message Handlers

                            Joaquim Homrighausen
                       2:270/17@fidonet or joho@abs.lu

                              August 30, 1994

         Copyright 1994 Joaquim Homrighausen; All rights reserved.



Status of this document:

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

     Fido and FidoNet are registered marks of Tom Jennings and Fido
     Software.


    Purpose

    This document should serve as a guide for the product identfier, PID
    hereafter, format for FidoNet message handlers. The purpose behind PIDs
    is related to my attempt to remove the requirement of Origin lines in
    conference mail messages.

    While I fully understand that this won't happen in all conferences, I
    would like to provide the facility to those who can use it (i.e. for
    conferences where all the participants are using software that supports
    messages without origin lines).

    Another use for PIDs is to minimize the excessive amount of information
    some programs put on the tear lines which increases overall
    transportation cost and time of conference mail.


    PID

    A PID replaces the program identifier often seen on the tear line of
    conference mail messages and is hidden behind a ^A (ASCII SOH, 01h).
    This also allows for better tracking of software causing problems in
    conferences.

:   Only one PID per message is allowed and should only be added by the
:   program that creates the message. I.e. programs passing the message on
:   to someone else may not add additional PIDs. If a PID is added, no
:   program information may be present after the tear line.

    A PID also offers the ability to add serial numbers to identify a
    specific copy of a program as being the source of a message with little
    or no effort.


    Format

      ^APID: <pID> <version>[ <serial#>]<CR>


    Sample

      ^APID: FM 2.11.b<CR>

      Would identify FrontDoor's editor, beta version 2.11 and replace:

       --- FM 2.11 (beta)


    Fields

    pID         The ID of the product responsible for creating the message.
                This should be kept as short as possible. The maximum
                length for this field is 10 characters.

    version     The version of the product including any alpha, beta, or
                gamma status. Only the relevant part of the version should
                be included. I.e. 1.00 should be expressed as 1, 1.10 as
                1.1 and 1.01 as 1.01. Alpha, beta, or gamma status should
                be expressed by appending a / or . followed by a, b, or g
                and optionally a revision indicator, such as a1, b2, etc.
                The maximum length for this field is 10 characters.

    serial#     The serial number of the product, omitted if irrelevant
                or zero. The maximum length for this field is ten (10)
                characters.


    TID

    TIDs or "Tosser IDs" started to appear shortly after the first
    revision of this document was released. They are added by Conference
    Mail ("EchoMail") processors when a message is exported from the
    local message base and injected into the network distribution scope
    for a conference.

    When a Conference Mail processor adds a TID to a message, it may not
    add a PID. An existing TID should, however, be replaced. TIDs follow
    the same format used for PIDs, as explained above.


    List of products

    The accompanying file, PIDLIST.TXT, is a list of products known to
    support the PID proposal. Software authors are encouraged to inform
    the author of this document of changes and additions to this list.

     --- end of file "fsc-0046.005" ---