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Re: [smime] Double base64 encoding unavoidable in enveloped messages?

2010-06-09 18:46:54
There are several things that you can look at.

1.  Emit and look for the binary smime capability.  This will allow you to
not do the inner base 64 encoding step which is the most likely to save you
one wrapping.  I have not been looking at active smime messages recently,
but most current clients should be doing this.

2.  If you would not normally do the outer wrapping, then you can omit doing
that.  While almost all current gateways and routers can deal with 8-bit
content, it is possible that some still exist that need 7-bit content and
thus the base64 encoding.


-----Original Message-----
From: smime-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org 
[mailto:smime-bounces(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org] On Behalf
Of Nelson B Bolyard
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 2010 10:58 AM
To: smime(_at_)ietf(_dot_)org
Subject: [smime] Double base64 encoding unavoidable in enveloped

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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