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Re: Definition of 'Body Part' in MIME draft, part 1

1995-04-19 17:11:13
It does not help your case to insult me. I read your original message quite
carefully. I read all such messages quite carefully.

Was it looking insulting ? Sorry about that. English is the fourth language
I learned in my life, and I am sure that if I had been allowed to write this
paragraph in french, I would have been able to express all the nuances of
thought that were needed. Since you were not the editor of the document at
the time I was actively participating, and since I had been silent for a long
time, I just wanted to make clear that I had not just discovered the document
one hour before whining on it. And I did not call you or anyone else names,
like I have seen on this (and some other) list, unless I really don't realize
the meaning of the (foreign to me) language I must use here.

Frankly, I don't see any point in distinguishing between someone who has just
picked up the document and "started whining" versus someone who has spent the
two years reading and rereading it before commenting. As document editor I feel
obligated to read all reasonable comments carefully and respond carefully. I
try to act on the basis of the merit of the suggestion and nothing else. I also
try very hard not to let the tone of the comment bother me, since a fair number
of them come in saying stuff like, "If you don't fix this for me I won't ever
use MIME again."

I was stating the original intent (was introduced) of the definition. Since
I wrote it, I don't see how you can disagree with my original intent...

I have no way of knowing what your original intent was. All I can say for sure
is that the definition in RFC1341 and in RFC1521 was NOT what I meant when I
said "body part", and I don't think it was anyone else's intent either. It may
have been your intent to say exactly what it said, but if so the resulting
specification contained many inconsistencies, loopholes, and ambguities and I
cannot see how you could possibly have reconciled yourself to them all.

may of course state that the term has been redefined. Do I understand
correctly that, according the the new definition, a 'body part' can now
be SOME OF the headers of a message, plus its body ? That's not what is
actually written:
    The term "body part", in this document, refers to either a
    single part message or one of the parts in the body of a
    multipart entity.

As I have said before, I am going to amend this in the next draft to make
it clear that it only refers to the content headers in the message rather than
all the other message headers.

Unless I am erring completely, 'single part message' means the totality
of a message, full header and body, the only restriction being that the
type of the body must be one of the discrete type or 'message', but that
it cannot be 'multipart'.

Right. I will clarify this.

No it can't! Once again you haven't read what the definition says! Read it
again! A single part message is not the same as a message in general!

The only qualifier I see is 'single part'. On the other hand, any part
of a multipart body (a body part) can itself have a body of type multipart.

So what? Sure, there can be additional parts within a single part. We all know
that MIME is recursive. But there's a difference between talking about a
multipart structure as a part in its own right and the collection of parts
within it.

Since there is no qualification attached to 'one of the parts',
the 'new' definition of body part now lumps together:

- messages (full header and body) whose body is not multipart, and

No it doesn't. See above.

- parts of a multipart (header and body) whose body is or is not multipart.

No it doesn't. See above.

That's exactly the problem. The "rules" for parts of a multipart also have
to apply to messages that only contain a single part. Under the old 
they did not. For the third time, this is not acceptable.

And once again, what do the parts of a multipart body (that can themselves
have a body of type multipart, see below), and single part messages have in
common to justify the introduction of a term to designate both ???

They have everything in common. They have same sorts of content headers with
the same syntax and defaults. Unless you tie the definition of body part
to the case of a message containing a single part most of MIME ends up
not being applicable to this case.

Isn't it obvious that this is a HUGE problem, and the definition absolutely
MUST change to correct it?


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