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                 Beware file for DECmail/MS

     This document reflects DECmail/MS version 10(2124)

                       December, 1982

0.1  Summary

     DECmail/MS is a  product  which  provides  TOPS-10  and
TOPS-20  users  with a sophisticated and flexible electronic
messaging  capability  (such  capabilities  are   frequently
called  "electronic  mail").  DECmail/MS is the generic name
for a software package which includes the program  MS  along
with some ancillary modules which together provide a compre-
hensive multinode mail service (and,  in  the  future,  will
provide gateways to other electronic mail systems).

     This document describes all bugs  in  this  release  of
DECmail/MS  that  were  known at release time, and describes
all patches to other products  required  for  DECmail/MS  to
operate  properly.  It also describes any unusual conditions
or unwarranted assumptions that users and system administra-
tors  should be aware of.  This document should be read com-
pletely BEFORE installing DECmail/MS.
                                                      Page 2


     A useful feature was overlooked and thus not documented
in  the user manual for DECmail/MS.  This feature is the use
of the commercial at-sign character to provide command input
from files.

     At any point in an MS command, the user may supply  the
remainder  of  the  command from a file by typing an at-sign
followed by the filespec of the file.  For instance, if  the
file MAILING-LIST.CMD contains the following list:

Campbell, Tucker, Stevens at KL2263

the user may insert this list in an  address  field  in  the
following manner:


     The at-sign/filespec combination need not be  the  only
thing  on  the  command line, but it must be the last thing.
For example:

To: Sengupta, Trotter, Purretta, @MAILING-LIST.TXT

but NOT

To: @MAILING-LIST.TXT, Sengupta, Trotter, Purretta


2.1  Required Patches To TOPS10

2.1.1  Patch To TRMOP Code -

     A bug in the TOPS10 terminal service causes an annoying
glitch  when  displaying  messages  on  VT100s,  if  the SET
TEXT-SCROLL-REGION command has been given.  The observed bug
is that only part of the screen will be filled, and then the
monitor will stop typing and ring the terminal bell, waiting
for  the  user  to  type  ctrl-Q.   This happens because the
.TOPCT TRMOP.  cannot  be  used  to  set  the  current  page
counter.   To  fix this bug, you need to turn on the 4000,,0
bit in word TOPTB1+24.  Thus:

File: /M/P
                                                      Page 3

TOPTB1+24/      30000,,653321   34000,,653321

The number in the right half shown here (653321) is used  as
an  example only and will be different on your system.  This
patch is required only for TOPS10 versions 7.01  and  7.01A;
later monitors have this fix.

2.1.2  Patch To COMDEV For PRINT  Command  (7.01  And  7.01A
       Only) -

     The PRINT command in MS causes the named messages to be
printed on the line printer.  This is done by simply opening
device LL:  (or LPT:, if that fails) and  copying  the  mes-
sages  to  it, presuming that by default the line printer is
spooled.  For line printers attached to DN87, DN87S, or DN20
frontends,  or  to DN82 or DN200 remote stations, this works
fine.  However, if the physical printer denoted by  LL:   or
LPT:   is  attached  instead  to  the  RSX-20F front end, MS
crashes with:

?Illegal data mode for device LPTxxx:  UUO at user PC xxxxxx

     This occurs because TOPS-10 reports that image mode  is
legal  for  all  line  printers  but  those  attached to the
RSX-20F front end.  The following patch fixes this problem.

     In file COMDEV.MAC, change the statement:




     This patch is required only for TOPS-10  versions  7.01
and 7.01A;  it is present in all later monitors.


3.1  User Community Size

     Under TOPS-10, DECmail/MS supports AT MOST 1400  users.
Since  TOPS-10  does  not  have  the  concept of a username,
DECmail/MS must simulate it.  The table in which  it  stores
pointers to these names is 1400 words long.
                                                      Page 4

     Under TOPS-20, DECmail/MS supports  all  users  of  the
system.   TOPS-20  currently allows around 4,000 users on an
extended-addressing machine (depending on  average  username

3.2  Message File Size

     DECmail/MS keeps the entire  current  message  file  in
core  during a session.  Because it does not run in extended
sections, only 256K is available for all  of  MS's  buffers,
code, tables, and the message file.  This restricts the mes-
sage file size to around 250 pages (1000 blocks).   This  is
true for both TOPS-10 and TOPS-20.


     The new address-list feature does not work when sending
mail via the old local mailer, MAILER.  This means that, for
TOPS-20 systems which do  not  run  MAILEX  (the  new  local
mailer)  or  XMAILR  (the Stanford/MIT internetwork mailer),
address lists will not work in mail which is entirely local.
What  is  meant  by  "not  working"  is that DECmail/MS will
accept the address lists,  and  send  mail  to  the  correct
recipients,  but  due to deficiencies in MAILER the received
mail will show only the recipients' names, and not the  name
of  the address list.  If there are any network addresses in
the "To" or "cc" list, though, the address list  names  will
be shown, since the network mailers preserve address lists.

     The new mailer, MAILEX, is included on  the  DECmail/MS
distribution   tape,  so  if  you  follow  the  installation
instructions this will not be an issue.  Note that you  must
continue to run the old mailer, MAILER, as well as MAILEX.
                                                      Page 5


5.1  Nonexistent UFD's (TOPS10 Only)

     DECmail/MS will not create UFD's.  Under TOPS10, when a
user   logs   out,  any  empty  UFD's  are  deleted.   Since
DECmail/MS will not create UFD's, these users will be unable
to receive mail.

     The simplest way around this is to create an empty file
in  each UFD that is expected to receive mail.  Protect this
file <777> to prevent inadvertent deletion by the user.  The
existence  of this file will prevent the deletion of the UFD
on logout.

5.2  GLXLIB Bugs

     DECmail/MS uses a runtime library called  GLXLIB  which
is part of the GALAXY subsystem.  This library provides many
commonly-needed functions in an operating-system-independent
manner,  thus greatly simplifying the task of writing appli-
cations which will run under both TOPS-10 and TOPS-20.

     Unfortunately,  GLXLIB  has  some  bugs  which   affect
DECmail/MS users.  These bugs are documented below.

5.2.1  Message File Size Limitations (GLXMEM) -

     There is a bug in  GLXMEM  which  makes  exceeding  the
maximum message file size particularly painful.  When a file
grows dangerously large, MS will  begin  warning  the  user,
whenever it starts up, that the file is too large and should
be pruned.  When this happens the user can use the  MOVE  or
DELETE commands to reduce the size of the file.  If the file
exceeds  the  maximum  possible  size,  though,  the  memory
manager  dies  with  an  ASE  (Addressing  Space  Exhausted)
stopcode.  Since this requires quite a large  file,  however
(some 250 disk pages (TOPS-20) or 1000 blocks (TOPS-10)), MS
would have gotten quite slow about reading the file already.
This  is  your best indication that it is time to reduce the
size  of  the  file.   Most  users  find  it  convenient  to
periodically  move old messages to an archive file.  This is
more for speed's sake than to avoid  the  file  size  limit,
which  in  fact  very  few users ever reach.  A file of more
than 300 pages will make MS so slow that the  user  will  be
motivated to prune it, long before the absolute maximum size
is reached.
                                                      Page 6

5.2.2  Core Limit Considerations (GLXMEM, TOPS-10 Only) -

     Compared to many other TOPS-10 utilities, MS is a large
program.   It typically requires 120 to 150 pages of virtual
memory.  Because of a bug in  GLXMEM,  if  a  user  with  an
insufficient  virtual  memory limit tries to run MS, MS will
just go into an infinite loop.   MS  users  should  thus  be
given  a  virtual limit of at least 150 pages and a physical
limit of at least 90 pages.

5.3  Command Scanner Bugs (GLXSCN, TOPS-10 Only)

     Ordinarily  enough  of  a  command  must  be  typed  to
uniquely  identify it before MS will recognize it.  In order
to  reduce  typing  for  the  most  commonly-used  commands,
though,  certain  special  abbreviations  have been defined.
For instance, R will be taken  to  mean  READ,  even  though
REPLY, REPAIR, and RETRIEVE all exist.

     GLXSCN is a module in GLXLIB that simulates the TOPS-20
COMND  JSYS.   It  has  the  following  bug related to these
abbreviations  (under  TOPS-10  only):   you  can  type  the
abbreviation,  and  MS  will perform the correct action, but
recognitions will not complete  the  name  of  the  command.
That  is,  typing R<ESC> will not cause the remainder of the
command name "EAD" to be displayed.  This  bug  exists  only
under TOPS-10.

5.4  SHOW VERSION Command (TOPS-20 Only)

     The SHOW VERSION command checks for  the  existence  of
the  file  SYSTEM:DECNET-HOSTS.TXT.   If  found, the message
" DECnet support" is displayed.  The message is NOT meant to
signify  that  the  DECnet mail daemons have been installed,
but rather that the file containing the network database  is
present and available for use by the mail daemons.

5.5  GET Command Bug (TOPS-10 Only)

     The GET command does not  correctly  default  the  file
specification;   for  example, "GET [10,1234]" results in an
illegal  file  specification  error.   The   complete   file
specification  must be supplied.  This bug only exists under

[End of MSBWR.MEM]