Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1995)

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Subject: Re: IETFHDR Digests & Eudora
From: Bob Snyder <snyderra @ dunx1 . ocs . drexel . edu>
Date: Sat, 20 May 1995 11:59:30 -0400
To: list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: Your message of "Sat, 20 May 1995 00:03:18 PDT." <199505200703 . AA07494 @ bolero . rahul . net>

> Result: practically unanimous howls of protest from readers with
> MIME-aware mail readers.  "What IS this?"  "I hate this!" "Why won't
> it just let me read it as a plain text file?"  "what's this attachment
> sh*t?" "I couldn't read the file!" "If it stays this way, I won't
> subscribe".
> Even I hated it.  I use MH and set the NOMHNPROC to turn it off in MH.
> I told them that it was their mail reader reacting to the MIME headers
> and that there was probably a way to configure their mail reader not
> to process the mail that way.  They didn't care, they had no idea what
> I was talking about, no interest in learning.  They only knew that
> they liked it the way it was before and now it was awful.
> I went into smartlist and turned all the mime stuff off.  Result:
> very happy readers.
> MIME digests might be OK for specialized audiences, but not in
> general.  Trust me.

The problem isn't with MIME digests.  The problem is with people's MIME 
readers.  Programs like elm which only partially impliment MIME.  MIME digests 
can be similar enough to normal digests that splitters work on them, but the 
Content-Type: header causes mail reader to react.  If you don't like the way 
your reader shows MIME digests, complain to the authors and give suggestions.  
I use exmh, and am very happy with its MIME support.

The biggest advantage of MIME digests over "normal" digests is that MIME 
digests can contain MIME documents.

Practically, though, unless you have a small list, you'd probably want to 
offer both MIME and non-MIME digests.  But you aren't going to see better 
reader support until there are more MIME digest-ed lists out there.


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