RFC 1440 (rfc1440) - Page 1 of 9

SIFT/UFT: Sender-Initiated/Unsolicited File Transfer

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Network Working Group                                           R. Troth
Request for Comments: 1440                               Rice University
                                                               July 1993

          SIFT/UFT: Sender-Initiated/Unsolicited File Transfer

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  It does not specify an Internet standard.  Discussion and
   suggestions for improvement are requested.  Please refer to the
   current edition of the "IAB Official Protocol Standards" for the
   standardization state and status of this protocol.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.

1.  Introduction

   This document describes a Sender-Initiated File Transfer (SIFT)
   protocol, also commonly called Unsolicited File Transfer (UFT)
   protocol.  The acronyms SIFT and UFT are synonymous throughout this
   document.  The term "unsolicited" does not imply that the file is
   unwanted, but that the receiver did not initiate the transaction.

   Sender-Initiated File Transfer contrasts with other file transfer
   methods in that the sender need not have an account or any
   registration on the target host system, and the receiving user may
   have less steps to take to retrieve the file(s) sent.  Unlike
   traditional file transfer, UFT lends itself handily to background or
   deferred operation, though it may be carried out immediately, even

2.  Rationale

   In certain non-IP networks, notably NJE based networks such as
   BITNET, it is possible to send a file to another user outside of the
   realm of "mail".  The effect is that the file sent is not perceived
   as correspondence and not processed by a mail user agent.  This
   convenient service is missed in the standard TCP/IP suite.  The
   author maintains that traditional electronic mail is not suited to
   non-correspondence file transfer.  There should be a means of sending
   non-mail, analogous to the sending of parcels rather than surface
   mail.  Several groups and individuals have shown an interest in this
   type of service.


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