Arguments for inline PGP (was: Leave clearsigned content encoding alone, how?)

Greg Sabino Mullane greg at
Tue Aug 9 17:26:28 CEST 2005

Hash: SHA1

>> * My email has a much better chance of reaching people whose
>> systems bounce (or discard!) attachments.

> Are there really a lot of such systems?  I've encountered very few
> that bounce messages with attachments, and if they discard attachments
> then your message is still intact, just unsigned.

I should have said "whose systems bounce (or discard!) emails with

> * It is easy to transfer my message to another format (such as a
> webpage) while keeping the signature.

> Keeping it, perhaps.  Keeping it intact, not so much.  Any
> reformatting done by a web browser (which is perfectly legitimate for
> the browser to do) will break the signature, of course.  If you force
> the formatting with <pre> tags, you've made a concession which allows
> the MIME version to work equally well.

Well, of course one uses a PRE tag, that was implied. And I don't see
how the MIME version works equally well - how would you verify a
webpage dump of a MIME stream?

> I see your points, but in my opinion they aren't worth giving up the
> benefits of MIME -- especially in what one hopes will be a generally
> applicable standard.  The ability to sign attachments gracefully isn't
> the only plus, for example, but that alone seems to be enough to make
> MIME a clear winner.

I'm not arguing giving up MIME at all - there are situations where it is
indispensable, and I even use it on some occasions. But I did want to
counter the "inline is evil and should never ever be used by anyone"
argument. :)

- --
Greg Sabino Mullane greg at
PGP Key: 0x14964AC8 200508091124



More information about the Gnupg-users mailing list