[Fw: [OT] Content-Disposition: inline?]

David K. Trudgett dkt@registriesltd.com.au
Fri Sep 14 02:13:02 2001

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Thursday 2001-09-13 at 10:51:30 -0400, Justin R. Miller wrote:

> Anyway, I just got a mail from a user on a rather low-tech mailing
> list complaining that all of my mail comes up blank with two
> attachments -- the two parts mentioned above. She's using:
> X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 5.00.3018.1300
> I'll bet my life savings on which one of us has the real problem :-D
> Regardless, I was wondering if anyone would be able to confirm for
> me what exactly that is? =20
The answer is that Outlook Express (and Outlook, too, I believe) is broken (deliberately). First of all, the content is text/plain, and second of all, the disposition is inline. This means that the MUA is supposed to display the content inline (as part of the message body, as opposed to being shown as an attachment). OE deliberately ignores this and shows both message and signature as attachments. One correspondent even said that it was flagged as an "invalid" attachment, so he didn't open it. Apart from that, PGP/MIME (now OpenPGP I believe) has been a standard for some time, certainly enough time for major MUA's to come to terms with it. This is unconscionable behaviour on the part of Microsoft. My response to this is to politely explain the problem to the correspondent, and suggest that they get an email program from a reputable organisation that does not deliberately hobble their products by introducing incompatibilities.=20 I also make it clear indirectly that I am not prepared to "solve" the problem by not signing my email. This has a couple of effects (besides annoying the hell out of some people, I mean). First, it makes the point that signing (and by extension, encrypting) email is very important (to me, at least). It is so important that I am willing to annoy my friends and other correspondents with it. Second, it alerts people to the types of practices that Microsoft engages in, which they otherwise would most likely not be aware of. Third, in a percentage of cases (much smaller than it should be) people actually decide to use a better email program, and therefore use one less Microsoft product. Note, however, that to my knowledge, not a single one of my correspondents (besides my wife, but she only uses it with me) has adopted the use of encryption technology. I'll leave it as an exercise for the reader to work out why. David Trudgett --DocE+STaALJfprDB Content-Type: application/pgp-signature Content-Disposition: inline -----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE----- Version: 2.6.3ia iQCVAgUBO6FK7aQMiROUOqeNAQEkWAP7BV6jRnqpluabi3Lpqd0pVftJcjiAD2UC 3ZB84qUu19AZkcmBmy5IGqLgmqYfNbLqiQTkpp2hFpeCQ4xX7etHsRLiq+6JiYWB NWiPxl2E1wJcXMW5n9nkeCF9rALhpq+1SxYTEb7HPtTCVUmtQvrGAcVXqwtxatVz ZgUSqylELmY= =VOjF -----END PGP SIGNATURE----- --DocE+STaALJfprDB--