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1993-05-11 17:04:51
        What I think I'm looking for is a case for omitting the CHARSET
parameter for  text/plain  unless you encode it as  Base 64.   With B64,
the  "channel"  is binary  so coding a CHARSET= parm  (and here I mean
like US-ASCII or ISO-8859-1 rather than Latin-1 or some such)  is safe.
Without any particular encoding,  the  "channel"  is  "plain text"  and
I can only hope that the gateway got it right.   Q-P further aggravates
any error introduced by a gateway.

        I think there exists,  but am having trouble developing or
proving,  a case for trusting and using  "plain text"  apart from
specific character set (encoding) tagging.   And it's not just for
EBCDIC hosts,  but for those  yet-to-be-created machines with a
smallest addressability of a 32-bit word.  (ie: the 32-bit byte)

        If you want to tag something as  text/plain and ISO-8859-1,
fine.   But ensure that the channel is truly binary.   Then again,
don't do B64 unless you have to for the sake of those who aren't yet
running a MIME compliant MUA.

        And this is assuming that  "network plaintext"  (what passes
over an SMTP connection)  is already ISO-8859-1.   (except that it isn't,
it's really 7-bit;  but you get the idea)

Rick Troth <troth(_at_)rice(_dot_)edu>,  Rice University,  Information Systems

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