Re: Linus using MIME ??? (was: Linux-2.1.7)

Matti Aarnio (
Sun, 3 Nov 1996 03:35:18 +0200 (EET)

Alain Knaff writes [ about MIME-effects on email ] :

> My copy of this message was fine. What is probably happening is that
> an intermediate mail gateway (or worse: a list exploder) transforms
> the mail from readable into quoted printable.

My standard answer: Install modern mailer ( = MTA).

I never get QP in my incoming mailbox, because my MTA
decodes the incoming message -- and so I can use old ELM
to do all my email processing without fussing about MIME.

> This is for instance the case for all mail received by .fr addresses:
> the greeting from the exploder in Strasbourg apparently doesn't please
> vger, which then reacts by transforming all mails into QP, even if
> they started out readable :-( This is doubly offensive, because:
> 1. AFAIK, the exploder in Strasbourg _only_ serves France.
> 2. In France, the vast majority of (knowledgeable) users is _against_
> QP. (Other countries, such as Finland and Sweden seem to be less
> opposed to QP).

Mostly because we actively took part at creating the MIME
technology; Why would we oppose it ? The world has far
more character sets than you can imagine. One survey found
about one HUNDRED of them. (more if you count aliases)

> Complaints to the list maintainer didn't help. Indeed, zmailer's
> author is radically pro-QP, and has more clout than the average list
> user. For those who don't know: zmailer is the MTA which is used by
> vger. Vger uses zmailer instead of sendmail, because it better
> handles the load imposed by the lists.

In "FR"-case my answer to Alain was (as I recall):
"Will you start running the re-exploder instead" ?
I never got any "YES" back.

.. and if VGER were running modern sendmail, you would
still be in the same pinch... or rather you would not
get any messages, because it would not be able to handle
the load...

I know very few mailers that can do QP-decoding while
processing message, my ZMailer is one, and sendmail
with EMIL facility is another. However Alman's standard
package does not do it (unless 8.8 got it)

> If you don't want QP messages, do as I do: get a address,
> and subscribe to the list through that address ;-) Yes, this somewhat
> defeats the exploder system, but if enough ppl do it, maybe the
> "powers that be" get the message.

That is because your incoming message is decoded while it
is sent to your ISP -- when receiving system reponds to
EHLO with 8BITMIME, the ZMailer does decode QP in transit.
However it is not really kosher to claim 8BITMIME, unless
one can always guarantee doing downgradeing to QP or BASE64
when the final receiving address can't handle 8-bit chars.
(This requirement is for systems relaying messages.)

The sendmail-8.* are capable to do the kosher thing with 8BITMIME.

> Happy Linuxing,
> Alain
> (P.S. Actually the main reason I got a poboxes address is because I'll
> be moving soon. The QP-free mailing lists were only a welcome
> additional benefit ;-) )

At my work we have a wide repertoire of systems with varying
degree of historical systems with weirdly behaving mailers.
(Telecom Finland is not pure SMTP-shop, we have a lot of
rather pervert X.400 systems, EBCDIC monsters, etc...
"Just Send 8-bit" is unacceptable. MIME is the way!)

/Matti Aarnio -- soap-boxing on "Pro-MIME" mode again..