Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(May 1995)
 

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Subject: Re: IETFHDR Digests & Eudora
From: Bob Snyder <rsnyder @ janet . advsys . com>
Date: Wed, 24 May 1995 08:04:12 -0400
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: Your message of "Sun, 21 May 1995 00:13:46 PDT." <199505210713 . AA24288 @ bolero . rahul . net>

> My readers rejected that response -- I tried it.  They didn't care why
> it didn't "work", they barely even knew the name of the program they
> used to read mail (from what I could tell, it was mostly Pine, Elm,
> and Eudora.  They didn't want to fiddle with anything on their end,
> they just wanted a simple easy to read digest.

Elm hands anything besides standard text/plain off to metamail.  metamail's 
interface leaves a lot to be desired, especially when it comes to digests.  
I'm not familar with Pine, but Eurdora users shouldn't have had a problem; it 
simply displays it inline with a seperator bar, as far as I recall.

An intelligent way to handle digests, MIME or otherwise, is to seperate them 
somehow, and to allow one to either respond back to the list address, or to 
respond to the individual of that individual article.

> > The biggest advantage of MIME digests over "normal" digests is that MIME 
> > digests can contain MIME documents.
> 
> So can regular digests.  One of my testers tried sending a short
> binary in mime format to the list (after I removed the mime headers
> from the overall digest).  Two Eudora users reported that their
> readers automatically handled it.

How was the binary encoded?  Base-64, as MIME dictates, or BinHex or 
uuencoding?  I know Eudora is smart enough to notice BinHex or (in the 
commercial version) uuencoding in the midddle of a message, but it won't pick 
up a MIME message encoded that way.  Nor will it properly deal with 
quoted-printable, character sets other than US-ASCII, or anything else realy 
MIME'ish.  I know one of the biggest frustrations for me is when people send 
quoted-printable to a LISTSERV list that I get as a digest.

> Nah, I have no plans to offer a MIME option.  Not one single reader
> wanted it and most hated it.  If they want it all they have to do is

Hopefully this will change with time as more intelligent MUAs come out.  It's 
a chicken and egg problem.  MUAs won't improve MIME digest handling because 
there aren't many MIME digests, and there aren't many MIME digests because 
readers don't handle them well.

Bob


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