Keld J|rn Simonsen writes:
It will take some time before there will be SMTP 8-bit paths
available in RFC specifications. XXXX only allows 7 bit.
This is incorrect. MIME is totally neutral on the issue of the path width of
transports. 7 bit, 8 bit and transports capable of handling pure binary are all
accomodated by MIME.
The issue of whether or not SMTP is expanded to handle 8 bit or binary is
completely orthogonal to MIME. It may happen. In fact, it probably will happen.
But it certainly does not need to happen in order to be able to transfer 8 bit
data using MIME. Encoding options are provided to handle this case.
And if and when 8 bit and/or binary transports do materialize, MIME will not
need to be changed -- we simply move to use encodings that correspond to the
native representation that the transport can handle.
Once again, there's a real advantage to engineering specifications that are
orthogonal to each other -- we don't have to force documents to proceed through
the process at the same time and we don't have to worry about the impact of
future changes in the transport area.