[JDEV] MIME, was My evil plans for a client.

Scott Robinson scott at tranzoa.com
Sun Aug 8 12:17:21 CDT 1999

Interleaved response.


* Vivre Draco translated into ASCII [Sun, Aug 08, 1999 at 11:54:24AM -0500][<VPOP31.3.0b.19990808115424.950.15.1.130a3d50 at oakwind>]
> On 8 Aug 99,, arh14 at cornell.edu sounded off on Re: [JDEV] My evil plans for a clie:
> > Anyway, it would be easy to send all MIME messages as several
> > messages.  The plain text part would come first, then you could
> > cancel any subsequent ones you want (Foo is sending you an
> > Elephant.attach, do you accept?). 
>    This is *slightly* different than what Scott said. Attached files 
> for the purposes of transfer I have no problem with (though I agree 
> with Scott we also need a CTCP protocol for doing things like this 
> directly). He implied having messages with imbedded background music. 
> Very different principle, though I suppose it would probably be 
> implemented similarly.

Hmm. Any type of read file transfer done across the Jabber protocol is kinda
crazy. The problem comes is either you split the message up, then you have
the problem of no guaranteed messages and how fast are ACKs? Sending it as a
single file you have the problem of taking the entire connection! Thus,
CTCP. What I wanted with MIME was a simple method of encoding alternate
data. If one wanted to have their message as a web-page, they would send a
message with a text/html MIME part.

> > > >    If you do this, their damned better be an option so not only do I=20
> > > > not have to listen to all the shit ppl attach, I don't even have to=20
> > > > waste time downloading it.
> > 
> > Why wouldn't there be?  First of all you would have to accept the
> > download, and then play the file. 
>    With email you can't choose to only download part of a mime 
> message (or at least I can't in the program I use and have never 
> heard of anyone doing so), so I had no reason to think it would be 
> implemented differently, or even feasible to implement differently, 
> with Jabber.

Unfortunately, with the way MIME plain is, you'd be forced to download the
whole message. However, you wouldn't be forced to look at it. Undocumented
MIME extensions do exist whereby they send a URL for the part, but I don't
think we should go there.

> > Anyway, why would your friends send you random junk if they knew
> > you hated it? 
>    I've known plenty of perfectly nice people on email lists who sent 
> messages in HTML with graphics attached because they couldn't find 
> the option in their mail program to turn off "stationary" or 
> whatever. Sooner or later someone always instructed them how to fix 
> it, but in the meantime...
> > > Of course there will. One could use basic mailcap's that had no support for
> > > beyond basic text. My plans for my client is to actually have a simple
> > > interface that modifies the mailcap. "Disable Active Content" anyone?
> > 
> > Dunno exactly what mailcap is *<|:(
>    Niether do I, actually... *looks at Scott expectantly*

mailcap sprouts from a UNIX program named "metamail" which is the main MIME
parsing engine for most e-mail clients. However, since the format is so
simple, pretty much all clients now use it for storing their MIME decoding

My personal mailcap:

text/x-vcard; /home/scott/.mutt/mutt.vcard.filter; copiousoutput
message/partial; showpartial %s %{id} %{number} %{total}

It's format is:
mimetype; handler[; ... options ...]

> > > >    Ugh... If Jabber messages get turned into webpages, with all the=20
> > > > crap lamers put on their pages -- useless midis, animated gifs, etc --
> > > > I'll stick with ICQ.
> > 
> > Well, the solution is simple.  Don't make Jabber buddies with
> > lamers.  
>    LOL! You have a point there :) But unfortunately, it's not so easy 
> to implement... I know plenty of otherwise cool ppl who suffer 
> serious lapses of taste in certain areas (one of my friends' 
> homepages iS wRiTtEn LiKe ThIs, if that tells you anything). And I'm 
> sure there'll be Jabber clients that support automatic inclusion of 
> your favorite wav, favorite bitmap, and what have you... And not only 
> do I not want to rely on my friends to remember to turn off their 
> default crap every time they send me a message (or to set their 
> client to turn it off when they send me messages, for that matter), 
> they shouldn't have to -- And as long as mime is implemented such 
> that I don't have to download the stuff, they won't have to.

I don't know if this is good news for you or not, but I'm implementing Kruft
to be basically an embedded web-browser. While you can disable all the
mailcap/MIME extensions (music, shockwave and all the other extras) if your
friend has such bad taste to send you a message with a violet background and
green foreground and his text wRiTtEn LiKe ThIs, there isn't much _anything_
could do about it. =D

> --
> "The sound of a kiss is not so loud as that of a cannon, 
>  but it's echo lasts a great deal longer." 
> --Unknown 
> Copyright 1999 Vivre Draco (cfc at paganpaths.org)
> excelsior ad infinitum -- http://www.paganpaths.org/~cfc/
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