[b-hebrew] Hebrew in messages

Peter Kirk peterkirk at qaya.org
Sat Jul 16 18:26:59 EDT 2005

On 16/07/2005 03:09, Karl Randolph wrote:

>Back on list.

Karl, I do not appreciate you copying to this list material which I sent 
to you on list (snipped from below).

>I have been using this account for years, and only in B-Hebrew 
>have I received complaints of mangled reception. But then it 
>is also the only place where I have attempted extensive 
>transmission of other than ASCII messages. The two may be 
>related. I don't know if they are related.

I don't know either, but I think they probably are related.

>Second, is the archiving software at ibiblio limited to 
>correctly encoded MIME messages? State it right out, don't 
>beat around the bush saying that html messages or other such 
>are produced by buggy programs. Then it is a feature, not a 
>bug, when it mangles non-MIME encoded messages, and non-MIME 
>text strings within messages. State it clearly that a MIME 
>complient mail program must be used and stop these bug 
>accusations if MIME is a requirement. If MIME is not a 
>requirement, then those are bugs.
There is no bug in the archiving software. This software correctly 
transforms the encoding of certain characters into a form which is valid 
in an HTML page. To do this, it needs to among other things "escape" all 
ampersands to avoid them being misinterpreted as the start of a 
character entity. This is standard practice in HTML encoding.

But yes, the software, like all e-mail software, does assume that e-mail 
it receives follows the standard for e-mail transmission, either the 
original MAIL standard or the extensions to it known as MIME. And for 
encodings other than ASCII the MIME standard must be followed. If you 
try to communicate with others using software which does not follow the 
standards for e-mail, then you can hardly be surprised that others do 
not receive what you intended.

In principle your mail software might make no attempt to comply with 
MIME but might support only the old MAIL standard. In that case it would 
not surprisingly get confused when you try to use it to send non-ASCII 
characters. But that does not seem to be true of your mail software, 
because you are able to send partially MIME-compliant messages. And the 
messages you send to me direct include the line "Mime-Version: 1.0", 
which is an explicit claim to comply with MIME version 1.0. So, I have 
to conclude that your software is claiming to comply with MIME but in 
fact is not doing so. That implies that there are bugs in it - or that 
the authors are making deliberately misleading claims.

Peter Kirk
peter at qaya.org (personal)
peterkirk at qaya.org (work)

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