It is sent to the list on the first of every month. The latest revision is also available from the Web site
http://domen.uninett.no/~hta/x400/faq-mhsnews.html (html format) ftp://aun.uninett.no/pub/mail/x400faq/FAQ-mhsnews.text (text format)$Revision: 1.4 $ $Date: 1997/11/07 15:10:59 $
1) What is X.400?
2) HOW DOES X.400 COMPARE TO SMTP?
3) WHAT X.400 IMPLEMENTATIONS EXIST?
4) Where can I FTP the X.400 standards?
5) Where can I find more information about X.400 and OSI?
6) How do I send Telefax from X.400?
7) On which type of network may I use X.400
8) What books should i read on X.400?
9) What is my X.400 address?
10) Why does mail to /..../@gateway fail?
CHANGES SINCE DECEMBER 1, 1994
(ITU-TS, the International Telecommunications Union Telecommunication Standard Sector, was formerly named CCITT).
It currently exists in 2 flavours:
SMTP has got:
X.400 has got:
The ITU put up a really nice Web server at www.itu.ch, which includes most of the relevant recommendations, but then, in June 1995, they closed document access to all but subscribers. See, but don't touch....
ISO documents cannot in general be put online. In some cases, the authors have placed copies of last-version drafts online, since drafts are not copyrighted by ISO. In other cases, special arrangements have been made to put certain ISO standards (like the CLNS spec) online.
They are available (at cost) from your local standards body. Some organizations also provide subscription services and provide copies of the standards.
Read the "standards FAQ" of comp.protocols.iso for more info.
Markus Kuhn <firstname.lastname@example.org>, who kindly supplied me with this information, maintains this archive. Please contact him if you have additional interesting files.
Other interesting places, supplied by Markus Kuhn:
ftp.uni-erlangen.de pub/doc/ISO collected USENET articles etc. osi.ncsl.nist.gov ftp.uu.net networking/osi ISODE and other OSI stuff networking/x25 nic.ddn.mil protocols DoD and GOSIP related stuff rfc RFC Repository cs.ucl.ac.uk src ISODE, PP, OSIMIS, ... osi-ds Internet X.500 documents ietf-osi-oda Internet ODA documents aun.uninett.no ietf/mhs-ds X.500 based routing drafts ftp.ifi.uio.no pub/SGML SGML/HyTime related things ftp.uni-stuttgart.de info/standards various documents info/osi-rus X.400/X.500 papers nnsc.nsf.net CCR IEEE CCR articles uu.psi.com isode ISODE 8.0
However, in order to enable use of TCP/IP network, many implementations offer RFC1006 (TP0 over TCP/IP) access. This is almost mandatory within TCP/IP based LAN and a real plus for the R&D community which maily use TCP/IP WANs.
Additionaly a few implementations such as PP/ISODE and M.PLUS/UCOM.X come along with an RFC1006 TS-bridge which act as a relay between X.25 and TCP/IP network for OSI applications such as X.400 and X.500.
The MAP/TOP profiles also specify (and use) X.400 for use over TP4 across any 802.x LAN (such as Ethernet or FDDI).
Finally, many X.400 implementations for PCs or Mac have been developped to use what exists in the PC arena such as PC-NFS, NETBios, X.32 or even dialup over modems. Carefully check what is available with your favourite supplier!
The ones that have been mentioned are:
X400 Message Handling, Standards, Interworking, Applications by B. Plattner, C. Lanz, H. Lubich, M. M"uller and T. Walter of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich It was translated by Stephen S. Wilson Published by Addison-Wesley, 1991, data communications and networks series ISBN 0-201-56503-X Price approximately USD 41 The German edition is named: Elektronische Post und Datenkommunikation: X.400: Die Normen und ihre Anwendung. Bonn: Addison-Wesley, 1989 It includes: - Basics of the OSI reference model and the X.400 MHS model - Stuff about interworking (mentioning RARE MHS!), EDI and more - Improvements of X.400 from 84 to 88, and the problems in interworking - A lot of useful appendices. Information by Marcel Mink <M.J.Mink@fel.tno.nl> Also mentioned by: Philipp Hoschka <Philipp.Hoschka@sophia.inria.fr> David McAnally <ACUS02@WACCVM.corp.mot.com> Carl-Uno Manros The X.400 blue book companion Twickenham: Technology Appraisals, 1989. ISBN: 1-871802008 Not very detailed, but helps if one also reads the standard "in parallel". Information by Philipp Hoschka <Philipp.Hoschka@sophia.inria.fr> Robert Babatz, Manfred Bogen und Uta Pankoke-Babatz Elektronische Kommunikation - X.400 Braunschweig: Vieweg, 1990. ISBN: 3-528-06389-0 Very helpful, but in German. There might be plans for an English edition, though. Information by Philipp Hoschka <Philipp.Hoschka@sophia.inria.fr> Sara Radicati Electronic Mail, an introduction to the X.400 Message Handling Standards McGraw-Hill 1992 (Uyless Black series on computer communication) ISBN: 0-07-051104-7 Fairly comprehensible and readable. A good introductory text Information by Erik Skovgaard <email@example.com> Mentioned by Hans P. Holen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Introduction to X.400, by Cemil Betanov. Artech House, 1993, ISBN 0-89006-597-7. A rather complete introduction to X.400 with a comprehensive subject index at the end. Information by Jacob Palme <email@example.com> "The E-Mail Frontier: Emerging markets and evolving technologies" by Daniel J. Blum and David M. Litwack and published by Addison-Wesley. ISBN 0-201-56860 It's not specifically for X.400 but describes all details necessary about it. The main idea behind it is to give a good description of all issues relating to email use and design. It also includes good discussions on SMTP and X.400/SMTP interconnection issues Information by firstname.lastname@example.org (Hiro Daryanani)
EITHER there is a defined mapping onto standard attributes for your domain, so that, for instance
Harald.Alvestrand@delab.sintef.no maps to C=no;ADMD= ;PRMD=uninett;O=sintef;OU=delab;S=Alvestrand;G=HaraldOR there is no such mapping, and you will have to use a Domain Defined Attribute:
Someone@somewhere.com maps to <Std. Attributes of a gateway>;DD.RFC-822=Someone(a)somewhere.comThe following characers have special conversion rules when used in DDAs:
@ -> (a) at sign ! -> (b) exclamation point (bang) % -> (p) percent sign _ -> (u) underscoreAll the hoary details may be found in RFC 1327. A more readable version is the COSINE addressing user guide, found at nic.switch.ch:
Feb 15 1993 addressing-english-250193.txt Feb 15 1993 addressing-french140992.ps Sep 27 1993 addressing-german-dfn-0993.txt Feb 15 1993 addressing-german-dfn-1092.txt Feb 15 1993 addressing-short-french140992.ps Sep 10 1993 e-mail_user_guide_it_garr.hqx Sep 10 1993 e-mail_user_guide_it_garr.mac-binary Sep 10 1993 e-mail_user_guide_it_garr.psNOTE: The actual mapping information in the user guides is rather dated by now; the theory is still sound!
A Web form for translation is at relay.surfnet.nl
A few places where you can use TELNET to a port, type in your address and see what it maps to, are:
NOTE: If you use gateways that do not conform to RFC 987, RFC 1148 or RFC 1327, all bets are off. For instance, the kindest description of the result of passing through the gateways of some commercial X.400 service providers is "interesting".
A list of known gateways is provided in the companion document, "FAQ-gateways.text".
Typically, you see a message like:
<< /...../@gateway: Cannot mail directly to filesThis has a long and convoluted history. Usually, it involves a mailer that knows how to do UUCP.
It turns out that one program used in UUCP (uuxqt) is capable of executing a large set of commands, some of which may destroy important files if given filename arguments.
So, in order to protect this from happening, HDB UUCP will follow in the tradition of fixing loose thumbtacks with sledgehammers, and refuse to accept any command that has an argument that looks like a filename that is relative to the root.
In the common UUCP setup, where only rmail and rnews are permitted, this does not make sense, but it is not possible to turn it off.
In Taylor UUCP, it is a compile time option. (This information supplied by Ian Lance Taylor <email@example.com>)
Another "nice" feature that helps in causing this is the "s" flag in
the Sendmail mailer definition. This strips the quotes off the local
part of the address, so that "/..../"@gateway gets turned into
/..../@gateway, which easily makes things go haywire, for instance by
separating the address onto multiple lines or interpreting it as
multiple recipients because of embedded spaces.
This flag should be nuked on all mailers except the "local" and "prog" mailers. Unfortunately, SUN ships it on all mailers by default, but then, anyone who uses a SUN default Sendmail configuration has problems anyway.