Vs Combined Method? E+S from RFC 3156 6.2

Bernhard Reiter bernhard at intevation.de
Thu May 15 14:16:09 CEST 2008

Hi Marcus,

On Thursday 15 May 2008 13:20, Marcus Brinkmann wrote:
> At Tue, 29 Apr 2008 14:14:45 +0200,
> Bernhard Reiter wrote:
> > Given the enhanced compatibility, why not do combined method whenever you
> > can, just getting the compatibility advantage?
> Compatibility with what? 

The RFC from August 2001 says "to increase compatibility
with non-MIME implementations of OpenPGP".

> If every mail reader today supports MIME, 
> there is no advantage in not using it.   

Also they all MUST support the combined method.
So even if there is a tiny small number of MUA out there
that still cannot do MIME based OpenPGP, why break compatibility
with them?

> Some things can move on.

Sure, so you are basically saying: The argument from 2001 is obsolete.
On the other hand, to ease the implementation, shouldn't we then push
for the removal of the combined method requirement? 
At least make it mandadory in new implementation to not create 
new combined method emails?

> So, the question is, are there significant MUAs that support only
> combined mode?

As for non-MIME MUAs, I think Outlook is significant.
(Being one of the developers of Gpg4win, you know that until recently
it could not do MIME OpenPGP. And that Outlook itself it not fully
MIME compliant, e.g. it does not display the text part of a multipart/signed
email, though it MUST according to MIME standards.)
There will be others out there as well, e.g. on older unix machines
which did not update software very often.


Managing Director - Owner: www.intevation.net       (Free Software Company)
Germany Coordinator: fsfeurope.org. Coordinator: www.Kolab-Konsortium.com.
Intevation GmbH, Osnabrück, DE; Amtsgericht Osnabrück, HRB 18998
Geschäftsführer Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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