Re: UTF-7 is dead

From: Daniel Biddle (
Date: Wed May 26 1999 - 14:55:08 EDT

On Wed, 26 May 1999, Mark H. David wrote:

> At 11:30 AM -0500 5/26/99, Pete Resnick wrote:
> >>Meanwhile, a very important mail client was just released with MIME
> >>encoding OFF by default: Outlook Express 5.0. I have recommended to
> >>persons at Microsoft that they have it default to ON.
> >
> >What does it mean to have MIME encoding off by default? If you send
> >non-US-ASCII characters, how do you know which character set encoding
> >is being used? If you send styled text, how is it marked up?
> Right, I was talking about the plain text mail settings. You can
> have no MIME encoding, quoted-printable, or base-64. The no-MIME-encoding
> choice is the default. This is orthogonal to the character
> set encoding, which the user has to choose separately to decide how
> non-US-ASCII characters are encoded (above the MIME level if any).

Please don't forget that quoted-printable and base64 are not the only
Content-Transfer-Encodings available in MIME: (RFC 2045)

     mechanism := "7bit" / "8bit" / "binary" /
                  "quoted-printable" / "base64" /
                  ietf-token / x-token

"7bit" and "8bit" indicate text with characters of the specified size,
with lines separated with CRLF at intervals; "binary" indicates data
without linebreaks.

I can't see any reason why any message should be sent without MIME
headers, since 8bit can be used if quoted-printable and base64 are
objectionable. (Unless, of course, the sender cannot handle MIME.)

Daniel Biddle

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