Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ    Attic   

TECH: MIME Digests

From:Lars Mathiesen <thorinn@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 17, 2008, 12:56
I've now set myself to receive MIME Digests, and can confirm that what the
LISTSERV sends conforms perfectly to the RFCs.

However, GMail doesn't understand them correctly, so I see all the messages
run together (bug 1) with no sender or subject headers (bug 2) -- but the
combined effect of the two bugs means that it actually displays all text in
the correct character set!

(Technically, each MIME part of a multipart message starts with a set of
headers followed by a blank line, but in the digest case the set of headers
is empty, with the content-type defaulting to message/rfc822 -- and then the
included messages has its own set of _message_ headers which may include
content-type and charset. Experiments show that GMail ignores the first
blank line (bug 2) and interprets the message headers as MIME part headers,
not displaying them but applying the content-xxx headers. It also fails to
apply the content-type default (bug 1) which would otherwise have put a
'forwarded message' divider and header field block at the start of each

Since Google seems to be impervious to bug reports, this could be half fixed
by having LISTSERV include a (formally useless but also harmless)
'Content-Type: message/rfc822' header in each MIME part header block. Since
I have conlang mail passing through procmail at one point, I just hacked in
a Perl oneliner to do just that, but I still won't be seeing individual
messages that can be replied to. Perhaps it's time to go back to mutt.