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Re: compressed content-transfer-encoding?

1999-08-01 11:53:19
At 12.02 -0400 99-07-31, Keith Moore wrote:
> 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.

No, it has one very important advantage: It will co-work,
with existing software using application/zip, in the way
people are already accustomed to sending and receiving
compressed e-mail in that format.

At 10.05 -0700 99-07-31, Paul Hoffman / IMC wrote:
I see a problem here with making a content type (zipped) act like a
c-t-e. Zipped seems fine for "attachments", that is, leaves in the
MIME tree. But some of the requirement for making messages smaller
would want to compress a whole message, which might be a nested
multipart. At this point, zipped hides the lower layers. If we want
a rule that say "you can't use app/zipped for multiparts", how does
this become different than a c-t-e?

Zip is not used to compress multiparts, just leaves. This is no
serious restriction, since the main part of e-mail messages seldom
needs compression. It is the attachments which are often large and
bulky. Even when the main part is in HTML format, all the images are
in other than the main body part.

At 13.36 -0400 99-07-31, Keith Moore wrote:
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.

The zip format may be in a minority of all mail attachments,
simply since most mail attachments are not compressed
using any compression format. But the zip format is
certainly in a large majority of the e-mailed attachments
which are compressed at all, and which are sent to me
by various people around the world. The only other
compression formats which are common in e-mail are
the JPEG and GIF formats. I hardly ever get any e-mail
with attachments in any other compression format.
Jacob Palme <jpalme(_at_)dsv(_dot_)su(_dot_)se> (Stockholm University and KTH)
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