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Re: error message of metamail

1993-09-07 09:59:58
I'm very sorry that some mail from Yutaka Sato has gotten overlooked in
the midst of everyone's summer vacations:

I hope the message/partial type to be more ROBUST against some ill
mannered MTAs and MUAs which automatically insert something before
or after a message body.

For example, I know a mail-list handler and a mail-to-news gateway,
which insert additional information at beginning of bodies of resent
messages.  And "Inews" appends ".signature" file at the end of
article body.

Can I save partical messages from such destructions ?

If there is no way to do so, I wish some extension to be added to
the spec. of message/partial, or need new content type like 
"MESSAGE/ROBUST-PARTIAL" to be introduced.  I think the most
naive solution is introducing "boundary" parameter to the partial
message, and wrap up the message body with the defined boundary.

(Such MTAs/MUAs are also harmful to all of basic content-types like
audio and image, but they can be saved by enclosing them in a 
multipart message.)

I think this message is worth answering, but I don't see any good
answer.  In particular, I haven't been able to come up with a better
answer than "the programs that do these things should be made
MIME-smart."  I think that a message/robust-partial would be a major new
complication to MIME at this point.  Does anyone have any other ideas?

The only other one that occurs to me is wrapping each message/partial up
as a one-part multipart message, since multipart has this robustness
quality you seek.  Note that in these casees, the things prepended or
appended to the body will be thrown away, so this still doesn't change
the general advice that it would make sense to update these programs and
make them MIME-smart....  -- Nathaniel

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