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Re: compressed content-transfer-encoding?

1999-07-31 10:35:37
Even though application/zip is lame, other mechanisms might be
worse. Maybe we should look harder at providing what would be
necessary to make 'application/zip' actually work, e.g., some
top-level indication of what's actually in the package?

this has the same deployment barrier as adding a new 
content-transfer-encoding - in either case the mime mail
reader needs to know what to do with the extra parameter
or the new c-t-e.

I'm not sure this is true. Unaware MIME mailers will just
see they have application/zip, that they either recognize
or not, and users of existing MIME mail programs have simple 
way of configuring their mail reader to at do something
sensible with it.

not clear.  it's one thing to add an ordinary content-type to an
existing mail reader, quite another to add a content-type that
says "decode this body part and then dispatch to the appropriate
content-type handler for its contents"  especially if the 
contents can contain multiple files, or multiparts, or signed
objects.  etc.

Adding a new content-transfer-encoding has a more serious
deployment problem, because most deployed systems don't have
any kind of extensibility built in for CTE.

yes, but my point is that basically you have to upgrade the MUA 
anyway to make this work well.  might as well do it right.

Mailing around zip files is common practice. Many people are
used to dealing with getting a zip file.  Leveraging this
just means making the common practice easier to accomplish
for senders, and less awkward for receivers; it's a product
enhancement that mail client vendors could add today.

it's by no means a common practice for everyone - just for some 
users of certain platforms.  even the most common platform on 
which zip is used doesn't ship with zip support.  so no, in 
general, people are not used to dealing with getting a zip file.

so what you are proposing to do is to clutter up the MIME
architecture and degrade the recipient's user interface
just so a minority of users who already use zip don't have
to upgrade immedately.  in the long run I don't think it's
worth it.