Question regarding 8BITMIME / BINARYMIME

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Question regarding 8BITMIME / BINARYMIME

J Doe
Hi,

I have a question regarding 8BITMIME.

I know Postfix supports 8BITMIME and does not support BINARYMIME, but I am wondering why both 8BITMIME and BINARYMIME are ESMTP extensions.  It would appear that 8BITMIME solves the same problem as BINARYMIME (allow 8-bit encoding of MIME), so why wasn’t BINARYMIME made obsolete in the RFC’s ?

Also - because 8BITMIME seems to solve the problem without CHUNKING, is that why Postfix supports it over BINARYMIME ?

Thanks,

- J
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Re: Question regarding 8BITMIME / BINARYMIME

Bill Cole-3
On 12 Mar 2018, at 22:44, J Doe wrote:

> Hi,
>
> I have a question regarding 8BITMIME.
>
> I know Postfix supports 8BITMIME and does not support BINARYMIME, but
> I am wondering why both 8BITMIME and BINARYMIME are ESMTP extensions.  
> It would appear that 8BITMIME solves the same problem as BINARYMIME
> (allow 8-bit encoding of MIME), so why wasn’t BINARYMIME made
> obsolete in the RFC’s ?

They don't quite solve the same problem. See
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc3030#section-1 and note that the ability
to transport any 8-bit character as message content does not include the
ability to transport any arbitrary stream of bits. 8BITMIME is really
designed to avoid the need to use Base64 or Quoted-Printable for text
email messages using extended 8-bit charsets or UTF-8.

> Also - because 8BITMIME seems to solve the problem without CHUNKING,
> is that why Postfix supports it over BINARYMIME ?

I can't give a definitive answer to that, but it seems to me that the
added complexity of BINARYMIME+CHUNKING implementation and support is
too high a cost for what it provides over 8BITMIME.