[JDEV] MIME, the general case.

Patrick McCuller patrick at kia.net
Mon Aug 9 14:15:03 CDT 1999

	I think everyone on this list agrees that MIME is good. MIME is great. It
is clean and well used, there are available libraries and interfaces, and a
lot of expertise on it around.

	I have no doubt that MIME will be the transfer encapsulation of choice for
many jabber things, whether client to client or client to server to client,
or client to email gateway, or who knows.

	What I think we're disagreeing on is a) whether MIME will be required
learning for all clients, and b) to what extent MIME will be used to
encapsulate transferred data.

	a) I think we've made a good case that plain vanilla text instant messages
need not be MIME'd. However, there is also a good case that even those
should be MIME'd, because it adds little 'weight' to plain vanilla messages.
Maybe this is in fact a good idea. It would also, if I recall correctly
(Yes, I know. IIRC. I don't like conversational acronyms very much. It
doesn't bother me when you use them, though.), help to solve the message
character encoding problem: MIME specifies its encoding as well as the
original character set. That rather neatly eliminates the multiple character
set entanglement we saw on this list, doesn't it?

	If simple messages ought to be MIME'd, then requiring MIME support isn't
ridiculous at all. For reference, the IMPP group (which, at the time, again
if I recall, was still the RVP group) went along with this idea very early
in discussion.

	b) As to using MIME to tranfer data, I think that's within the negotiable
feature arena. Yes, it would be very handy to transfer some kinds of data
using MIME - small files, email messages, miscellany, messages in different
charsets. But we should always keep in mind that MIME was designed for
email, and all its nasty intricacies...

	These seem to be good references for MIME information:
http://www.oac.uci.edu/indiv/ehood/MIME/MIME.html +
http://www.mindspring.com/~mgrand/mime.html. Anyone familiar with MIME know
differently, or of better sites?


> -----Original Message-----
> From: jdev-admin at jabber.org [mailto:jdev-admin at jabber.org]On Behalf Of
> arh14 at cornell.edu
> Sent: Monday, August 09, 1999 2:09 PM
> To: jdev at jabber.org
> Subject: Re: [JDEV] MIME, was My evil plans for a client.
> Sorry if I appear to be carping on about MIME, but this would be the
> case in which it would help.  The client would know what type of file it
> was, and then act accordingly, perhaps passing it on to a plugin.  For
> instance, text/plain could by default be handled internally by popping up
> a dialog with the message in it.  Somehow the info about what type of
> file it is, or how it is encoded needs to be stored somewhere.  Instead
> of relegating this to individual transports (which themselves are not
> necessarily tied to an encoding), or some new method of specification in
> the Jabber protocol, I am simply offering the suggestion that
> MIME be used.
> I realize that this may be totally orthogonal to the other discussions at
> hand.
> Aaron
> On Mon, 9 Aug 1999, Thomas D. Charron wrote:
> > On Mon, 9 Aug 1999 13:15:19    arh14 wrote:
> > >Just a question...when you recieved the file at the endpoint,
> how did the
> > >client know what "type" of file it was?  Is this specified in
> the Jabber
> > >protocol, or in uuencode...?
> >
> >   Didn't matter..  It simply ssaved it off to a directory..  It
> wasn't very mature, merely dabblings in expanding the <ext> tags.. ;-P
> >
> > ---
> > Thomas Charron
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