6.4.2 Subject Line Keywords

The subject line can have a special meaning in email update messages by using keywords. The available keywords, which are case-insensitive, are:

  • NEW
  • HELP
  • HOWTO

One way to use a keyword is to put the single keyword in the subject line of an email message, with NO other words. If any other word is found (for example, Subject: NEW objects) then none of the words will be treated as keywords. All words in the subject line will be reported in the acknowledgement reply as invalid keywords, along with a WARNING message. In this context, it is impossible to know if a word is meant as a keyword or just part of a comment.

Many users often include their own references in the subject line. Using this method, it is not possible to also use a keyword. The user's references are reported in the WARNING message as invalid keywords.

Some examples:
Subject: new

This is an accepted keyword.
Subject: sending my new objects

None of these words are accepted as a keyword and all reported in the warning message.

Use the NEW keyword if you want the database to only accept new objects. In this case, all objects found in the update are assumed to be creation operations. If an object already exists in the database, that object will result in an error message in the acknowledgement. However, the remaining objects will still be processed.

The HELP keyword causes a piece of text to be returned in the acknowledgement that contains information about how to query and update the database. When this keyword is used the body of the update message, it is ignored. HOWTO performs the same action as the HELP keyword.

This documentation is in draft status.
Please send any feedback or feature requests to ripe-dbm@ripe.net.