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[smime] Double base64 encoding unavoidable in enveloped messages?

2010-06-08 12:59:32
Thunderbird's developers have received complaints about the relative size of
enveloped messages, as compared to the same message sent in plain text.
Investigation has shown that the message production

- creates the entire un-enveloped message, with any binary attachments
base64 encoded, then
- envelopes it, then
- base 64 encodes the enveloped message.

As some developers read it, this is the right/only way to do it.
They see the double-encoding as unavoidable.
It surely is wasteful of bandwidth and storage.
Is this double base64 encoding unavoidable?
Or is there something being overlooked here?

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