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Re: Email Standards, MIME, HTML Mail, RTF etc.

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Dennis S. Wish wrote:

> Nigel,
> Can you enlighten me on what software that you know of is HTML mail

Sorry, but I'm kind of igorant (sic) on this one.  The only one I know of for
sure is Netscape.  Outlook 97 sort of handles HTML.  If you send it HTML it
opens up Internet Explorer (at least this works with Explorer v3.0 and v4.0) to
display the file.

> compatible. Also, if you can answer this one, is HTML mail basically the
> same as MIME compliant format?
> I am using the Outlook9 98 Beta and it is provides the option of HTML mail
> which in Outlook 97 was not stated as HTML but MIME.

Hmm.  I guess I don't know like I thought I did, or Unka Bill is not telling the
story quite right.  The way I thought it worked is that Internet email was
originally created to handle only ASCII text messages.  Sending non-ASCII
characters caused the software transmitting messages "out there" to gag, which
is why UUENCODE and UUDECODE were invented.  Those programs converted non-ASCII
characters to some coded form that included only ASCII characters so the 'net
wouldn't gag, then translated it back again at the other end.

MIME, as I understood it, was the next generation, that performed a trick
somewhat similar to UUENCODEing, but in a more sophisticated manner so it would
work smoothly with things like video and sound clips and graphics images.

HTML, again in my understanding, was created as a programming language to allow
creation of "programs," or rather, parameter files that an HTML program would
interpret in such a way that one could create graphical screens like those that
make up the web.

If I'm right in any of this, I would guess that what Unka Bill meant in your
software was that you would create an HTML document (a message containing your
text and the appropriate parameters to trigger an HTML interpreter on the other
end to re-create your original formatting) and that since that would involve the
use of non-ASCII characters, it would have to use MIME formatting so it could
transmit the message without gagging the 'net.

Anybody got a better guess?