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Subject: Re: MHTML in email
From: Jacob Palme <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:IETF working group on HTML in e-mail <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Mon, 18 Nov 2002 05:33:42 +0100

text/plain (55 lines)

At 14:39 +1100 02-11-18, [log in to unmask] wrote:
>The last date mentioned on the web page is August 2001 - has the
>proposal died away?  The last date on the implementation status report
>is even older, at Oct 1998!
>I think the idea is that the HTML can have references into the other
>MIME parts of the message.  What's not clear to me is why you'd bother
>- since MIME lets you put inline graphics and linked documents into the
>message anyway.  Likewise MIME supports enriched text where you can
>have italic, bold, etc.
>I suppose my basic question is, what is the current status?  Judging by
>the web page, it looks basically dead.

The standard is supported by major vendors. It has not
progressed from proposed to draft status mainly because one
important functionality, the use of the Content- Locator
header, is not supported by two independent vendors. Most
vendors do support it for reciept, but there is only one
single vendor, which supports it in producing mail.

As often happens, vendors mainly support a simple practical
subset, and not always very complex structures of nesting.
The combination of multipart/ alternative with MHTML in
both alternative ways (multipart/related inside
multipart/alternative, and the reverse) is supported by
major vendors.

In addition to use for e-mail, MHTML is also used for
archiving of web pages.

There has been some complaints about inconsistencies in the
standard, but the editors have been waiting to write a
revised version because we are hoping that there will soon
be more than one vendor who can produce mail using
Content-Location, which is required for progressing MTHML
to draft status.

One might also note that all vendors do not support all
kinds of HTML in e-mail, some support only a subset of
simple HTML usage.

Unfortunately, MHTML tends to be associated with spam.
Spam, however, does not combine MHTML with multipart/
alternative, so it is easy to distinguish serious use
and spam use by checking for such a combination.
Jacob Palme <[log in to unmask]> (Stockholm University and KTH)
for more info see URL:

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