It seems that a new MIME standard for content-transfer-encoding that
would indicate a compressed base64 type ala gzip could be nice.
Creative minds might even improve the efficiency of base64 at the
same time, if we don't have to worry about translation into EBCDIC
it's been discussed many times; afaik the biggest problem is that nobody
has bothered to write up a concrete proposal. the second biggest problem,
of course, is that it would break lots of existing software.
Just curious - has the idea of doing on the fly compression at the ESMTP
level ever been considered?
Yes, but given the existance of the TLS SMTP extension, which can
negotiate compression, why bother defining another mechanism?
This would have the advantage of not breaking
any of the upper layers, and would only be enabled between MTA's with the
capability. It would be tough on the MTA's, but with CPU and disk speeds
increasing, it might be feasible. Anyway, just a thought...
Compression is a nonissue compared to crypto. But in general we need crypto a
lot more than we need to save bandwidth...