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Re: [Nmh-workers] Help: 8-bit: I'm confused and befuddled.

From: Ken Hornstein
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] Help: 8-bit: I'm confused and befuddled.
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2012 11:06:49 -0500

>Is it reasonably safe for me to put characters (octets) greater than 127 in the
>body, excluding any attachments, of a message?

Yes ... IF the message has the proper MIME headers.  Well, you can put
octets >127 in a message without the proper MIME headers and I can tell
you from experience that it will 'work' in the sense that the recipient
will be get your message, but there's no guarantee that the octets >127
will be readable.

So, your next question will likely be: how do I get the proper MIME headers?
You have two basic choices:

- Have nmh do it for you.  If you run 'mime' at the WhatNow? prompt,
  which really runs mhbuild, it will do all of the right magic for you.
  Now by default it will take the character set from your locale, so if
  (for example) your locale is UTF-8 but you have ISO-8859-1 characters
  in there the wrong thing will happen.  You can override that with
  mhbuild directives.

- Put your own MIME headers in there, like Ralph Corderoy.  See:


>If so, what encodings is it reasonably safe for me to use for them?
>In particular,  is it reasonably safe then for me to use ISO 8859-1?

Let's refresh on our MIME termology:

Encoding - how octets are are transmitted in a message, defined by the
           Content-Transfer-Encoding header.  Examples: 7bit, 8bit,
           quoted-printable, base64.

Character set - The mapping between octets and printable characters you
                see on the screen, defined by the charset parameter
                in the Content-Type header.  Examples: us-ascii, iso-8859-1,
                utf-8, windows-1252.

ISO8859-1 is character set.

But to answer your question ... any of the _encodings_ should work fine.
Also, any of the major character sets (like ISO-8859-1 or UTF-8) should
also work fine.  FWIW, I made the switch to UTF-8 for my locale and I
think it's probably where the world is going.

>>I put some of the relevant RFCs off of the nmh homepage here:
>Good idea! Thank you!
>Shouldn't http://www.nongnu.org/nmh/ have a link to that page?

It does, down at the bottom (under "Help").


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