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Re: Multipart/Alternative Compatibility Issue

1995-07-24 20:34:56
One example: A side conversation with Ray Langford from Frontier 
Technologies indicates that their SuperTCP mail client flattens hierarchy 
and treats mp/alternative as mp/mixed.  It also treats the first inline 
text part as the message body that is presented to the user.  The result 
of these choices is that both our encodings result in the same appearance 
to the user.


Yes, this is the way our Email works.  We chose to do this because our mail 
system is MAPI compliant.  The MAPI structures define a notetext and flat 
(no hierarchy) attachments. We currently treat a MIME message as an equal 
collection of parts (attachments) and attempt to find a notetext (the first 
text part).  

I agree that mp/alternative could be handled better by only keeping and 
showing one alternative (of the users choice through configuration) but 
there are a number of reasons why this could be problematic in our current 
MAPI compliant mail system.  We are looking into this and also 
Content-Disposition as ways to address these issues.

However, in retrospect, SuperTCP MIME Email has been shipping now for over 
21/2 years (over 200,000 copies) and we haven't received a single complaint 
about how we handle mp/alternative :-).  I also don't think that there are 
many people (programs) that create mp/alternative messages... yet :-).

[Sorry to readers if I have wandered too far off the topic (I am on 
vacation and actually have time to read and respond to the list).]

Ray C. Langford
Engineering Manager, Advanced Products
Frontier Technologies Corp.
Email: Ray(_at_)FrontierTech(_dot_)com
Voice: (414) 241-4555 x205