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|| The TCP/IP Guide|
9 TCP/IP Application Layer Protocols, Services and Applications (OSI Layers 5, 6 and 7)
9 TCP/IP Key Applications and Application Protocols
9 TCP/IP File and Message Transfer Applications and Protocols (FTP, TFTP, Electronic Mail, USENET, HTTP/WWW, Gopher)
9 TCP/IP Electronic Mail System: Concepts and Protocols (RFC 822, MIME, SMTP, POP3, IMAP)
9 TCP/IP Electronic Mail Message Formats and Message Processing: RFC 822 and MIME
9 TCP/IP Enhanced Electronic Mail Message Format: Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME)
MIME Extension for Non-ASCII Mail Message Headers
(Page 1 of 2)
All of the MIME mechanisms discussed
in this section up to this point deal with ways of encoding different
kinds of ASCII and non-ASCII data into the body of an
RFC 822 message. In addition to these capabilities, MIME also includes
a way in which non-ASCII data can be encoded into headers
of an RFC 822 message.
The Need for MIME-Encoded Headers
At this point you might be wondering
why anyone would want to do this. Sure, it makes sense to be able to
use MIME to encode binary data such as an image into an e-mail, but
why do it in a header? Well, if you can't see the need for this, chances
are that you are a native English speaker. J
ASCII does a great job of representing English, but isn't so hot with
many other languages. With RFC 822, the speakers of languages that use
non-ASCII characters were unable to fully use descriptive headers such
as the Subject and Comments headers. Some could not even
properly express their own names!
The solution to this problem is the
subject of RFC 2047, the third of the five main MIME standards. It describes
how to encode non-ASCII text into ASCII RFC 822 message headers. The
idea is straight-forward: just as with message bodies, the non-ASCII
text is replaced with ASCII, and information is provided to describe
how this was done.
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The TCP/IP Guide (http://www.TCPIPGuide.com)
Version 3.0 - Version Date: September 20, 2005
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