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Re: RMAIL, MIME-related bug

From: Richard Stallman
Subject: Re: RMAIL, MIME-related bug
Date: Thu, 16 Oct 2003 19:06:49 -0400

    > When we convert the email to babyl format,

Paul Riley and I have made a version of Rmail that doesn't use Babyl
format.  We want to get rid of it entirely.  I think it is currently
available in a branch called rmail-mbox-branch.

So please don't think in terms of conversion to Babyl
format when designing future Rmail changes.

                                                 we can do some MIME-related
    > processing on it, for example: all text/* bodyparts may be
    > transfer-encoding (quoted-printable and base64) decoded, PGP/GPG
    > signatures verified, PGP/GPG decryption done, header fields of type
    > =?...?B?...?= decoded (RFC 2047) and unfolded (RFC 2822), etc.
    > This needs to be done once. No information is lost in this step. No
    > structure information is lost either.

    I agree that these are best done while converting to Babyl. 

I disagree.  I don't want any decryption done and saved on my disk.
(You won't be able to do the decryption without asking me for my
passphrase, and I would not give it.)

Decoding of quoted-printable and base64 may cause problems too.  The
point of these encodings is so that the data can be unambiguously
included in a message.  If you decode it and store the result in the
Rmail file, that brings back the ambiguities these encodings were
designed to avoid.

    > All the necessary MIME information is still there, part of it before
    > EOOH, part of it after. 

    Yes, all information is there, but the structure is not.
    The structure is broken. There is no MIME message anymore.

It is not a good idea to make such drastic changes to the message as
it is saved on disk.  They should be done as part of displaying the
message, when the user selects it.  The results can be cached to make
moving between messages faster, if that's desirable.

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