1994-12-16 - Re: McCoy is Right! New Mail Format to Start Now.

Header Data

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
To: jalicqui@prairienet.org (Jeff Licquia)
Message Hash: 91e3c749d8e98dfef1cf293e976f0a13ef1c9b17632ae63cc4398d240b238a5b
Message ID: <199412160338.TAA26446@netcom10.netcom.com>
Reply To: <9412152113.AA00540@firefly.prairienet.org>
UTC Datetime: 1994-12-16 03:38:47 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 15 Dec 94 19:38:47 PST

Raw message

From: tcmay@netcom.com (Timothy C. May)
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 94 19:38:47 PST
To: jalicqui@prairienet.org (Jeff Licquia)
Subject: Re: McCoy is Right! New Mail Format to Start Now.
In-Reply-To: <9412152113.AA00540@firefly.prairienet.org>
Message-ID: <199412160338.TAA26446@netcom10.netcom.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Jeff Licquia wrote:

> Well, ignoring the fact that MIME appears to be infiltrating the Web as well...
> I would differ with your analysis of MIME's lack of usefulness.  It does
> provide a possible way to integrate PGP into the mail/Web landscape (from a
> crypto standpoint).  Multimedia I'm not so sure about; I think the big draw
> to MIME will come when Person A drags and drops a spreadsheet into a MIME
> mailer and sends the message to Person B, who then clicks on an icon to pull
> up the spreadsheet.  But I digress...

My issue has not been with MIME as a transport mechanism, but
non-ASCII content, which clearly most folks can't read.

> I'd say, however, that MIME isn't a done deal yet, though it's getting
> there.  Until it's there, it's probably a bad idea.  It's been my experience
> that many mailers are just MIME-compliant enough to cause their users lots
> of headaches.

Amen! This is the same point several people have made in follow-ups. 

The whole bit about transferring spreadsheets is nice--we've been able
to do it on the Mac for many years, provided both sides have the right
spreadsheet programs of course--but it's not of much use in
communicating as we do on a mailing list. And "true MIME" is not what
many so-called "MIMEs" apparently are.

> (As I write this, I notice I'm using Eudora, which MIMEs all its stuff.  Oh,
> well; I hope this message isn't too much trouble for y'all...)

It wasn't marked as Mime, and it gave me no trouble. Perhaps becuase
looking at your headers reveals:

X-Mailer: Windows Eudora Version 1.4.3
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

I think the Content-Type field is the key.

Is this the answer? Not completely. Part of the whole "complexity"
issue I've been railing about (and echoed by such noted Neo-Luddites
as Phil Zimmermann, John Markoff, and others) is that increasing
numbers of messages need special processing, hang up my automatic
downloading (as when my Eudora hangs in the middle of a long transfer,
asking for instructions on how to handle an exception or special case,
and Netcom hangs me up, forcing me to start over later and then
babysit the transfer process so I can be there when Eudora hollers for
help), and generally complicate our lives more than they help.

Would Einstein have wasted his time trying to configure his mailer so
he could see Amanda's GIF? (No offense meant, Amanda.))

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