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Re: [vox-tech] what is mime?
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Re: [vox-tech] what is mime?



On Mon, Dec 10, 2001 at 10:43:50PM -0800, Ted Deppner wrote:
> On Mon, Dec 10, 2001 at 08:43:34AM -0800, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > i think mime provides a logical division of an email based on content -- like
> > an attachment or a gpg signature, and this allows mail clients to deal with
> > the material in an appropriate manner.
> 
> Dead on.  Mime is two logically separate components, one is MIME encoding,
> taking binary or unicode data and encoding it to ASCII.  The other is the
> Multipart encapsulation of data.  (Yes, it is possible to use one without
> the other.)
> 
> There are some other tidbits and extensions, but that's the heart of it.

MIME is a standard for encapsulating arbitrary data (8-bit latin-1 text,
HTML, 16-bit Chinese text, MP3 sound, JPEGs, anything at all) inside a
seven-bit plain-text e-mail message that is compatible with the decades-old
Internet mail transport protocols. To identify the type of data being
transmitted, MIME defines standard character encoding names (like US-ASCII)
and standard name for data types (like image/jpeg or application/pgp-signature).

By comparing the MIME type of an incoming attachment to a list of local
programs that understand certain mime types (typically /etc/mailcap or
~/.mailcap), a mail user agent can (hopefully) do something appropriate with
the attachment, e.g., display a PDF using Xpdf.

MIME goes further and provides a mechanism to define the relationship between
segments of data in a message, e.g., HTML and text attachments coud be
defined as alternatives to each other, or a PGP signature could be defined as
equal in weight to the grouping of other attachments in the message
(indicating that both the text and JPEG attachment that make up the rest of
the message are signed). MIME-aware mail user agents (like Mutt) are able to
exploit this to handle mail more intelligently.

MIME is defined by a bunch of RFCs: RFC-2046, RFC-1524, and others.

-- 
Henry House
The attached file is a digital signature. See <http://romana.hajhouse.org/pgp>
for information.  My OpenPGP key: <http://romana.hajhouse.org/hajhouse.asc>.

Attachment: pgp00002.pgp
Description: PGP signature



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