I guess I really believe that the current multipart specification is
indeed "open to the 8 bit world". Nothing in it requires 7 bits -- it
merely says that if you only have 7 bits, you use a
Content-Transfer-Encoding field, and defines how & when to use it.
While I personally agree with Mark Crispin that 8-bit mail is not
necessary, I see no reason not to work with it if the people who do care
about it actually make it a reality.
The only place where I think Keld & I might actually be in disagreement
is in the nature of the interface between 8-bit and 7-bit mail. I think
this interface will only work right if it is viewed as a gateway
operation, much like the gateways between Internet and Bitnet or
Internet and X.400. This doesn't mean it has to be a *complex* gateway,
but merely that care must be taken, when messages cross the boundaries,
to properly transform them without either losing information or
violating the format standards of the destination system. Is that
notion really a problem?