Network Working Group A. McKenzie
RFC #312 BBN
NIC 9342 22 March 1972
Proposed Change in IMP-to-Host Protocol
We are currently considering a redefinition of the IMP-to-Host
error message types (type 1 and type 8) and the creation of addi-
tional IMP-to-Host error message types. We believe that these
changes will assist the Hosts in determining appropriate recovery
action, without causing any serious reprogramming problems. Our
current plans are to install these changes within a few months;
therefore we should be informed of any strong negative reactions
The proposed changes fall into two general classes as de-
A) General Error Message
Under certain circumstances, particularly when the Host
has been unresponsive to queued input for a "long time"
the IMP drops its ready line for a short period, causing
the "error flip-flops" to be set (see RFC #270, NIC 7818).
Under these conditions the IMP sends a few NOP's to the
Host and then resumes normal operation. We propose to
send the Host a new message (message type 13) in addition
to the NOPs; this message will tell the Host that the
IMP's Ready Line was dropped, that the IMP's error flop
was set, and that the IMP will respond to the next com-
pletion of a Host-to-IMP message with a type 1 or type 8
message (because of the setting of the IMP's error flop.
B) Error Messages which are Responses to Specific
1) IMP-to-Host message type 1 will be redefined to mean:
"IMP's Error flip-flop was set on a message which
the IMP cannot identify."
2) IMP-to-Host message type 8 will be redefined to mean:
"IMP's Error flip-flop was set during receipt of the
message identified by the 'source' and 'link number'
bits of this error message."
3) IMP-to-Host message type 10 will be defined to mean:
"A Host-to-IMP message was too short (and cannot be
4) IMP-to-Host message type 11 will be defined to mean:
"A Host-to-IMP message was too long; the message is
identified by the 'source' and 'link number' bits
of this error message."
5) IMP-to-Host message type 12 will be defined to mean:
"A Host-to-IMP message with an illegal message type
code was received; the message is identified by the
'source' and 'link number' bits of this error message.
(Note that the erroneous type code is not included in
the error message.)"
[ This RFC was put into machine readable form for entry ]
[ into the online RFC archives by BBN Corp. under the ]
[ direction of Alex McKenzie. 12/96 ]