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What is text/plain?

1993-09-10 17:41:09
I was looking for a definition of the MIME text/plain subtype.
In MIME I found:

From RFC 1346 - MIME

            7.1.2     The Text/plain subtype

            The primary subtype of text   is  "plain".   This  indicates
            plain  (unformatted)  text.  The  default  Content-Type  for
            Internet  mail,  "text/plain;  charset=us-ascii",  describes
            existing  Internet practice, that is, it is the type of body
            defined by RFC 822.

In RFC-822 I found:

From RFC 822

          A general "memo" framework is used.  That is, a message con-
     sists of some information in a rigid format, followed by the main
     part of the message, with a format that is not specified in  this
     document.   The  syntax of several fields of the rigidly-formated
     ("headers") section is defined in  this  specification;  some  of
     these fields must be included in all messages.

In comp.mail.mime, Steve Dorner, Qualcomm Inc said:

The MIME spec probably ought to say that RFC 821 defines existing Internet
practice so far as message bodies go.  It's the one that specifies things
like 7 bits only and lines <1000 characters (pp 41-43).

I'm confused!

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