pgp/mime vs in-line pgp

David Shaw dshaw at
Tue Apr 13 23:24:27 CEST 2004

On Tue, Apr 13, 2004 at 03:52:51PM -0400, Atom 'Smasher' wrote:
> > > of course, pgp/mime is an *official* standard, while in-line pgp is an
> > > *unofficial* standard. why isn't in-line pgp *officially* recognized as an
> > > email standard?
> >
> > Inline PGP is absolutely an official standard.  See RFC-2440.  It's
> > just a different official standard than PGP/MIME (RFC-3156).
> >
> > Inline PGP can't handle all the situations that PGP/MIME does, and
> > it's not nearly as transparent as PGP/MIME, but it is a genuine
> > official standard.
> ==============================
> i didn't realize that RFC 2440 made in-line pgp officially accepted as an
> *email* standard...

What is a standard?  A standard is a bunch of people agreeing to do a
particular task in a particular way.  RFC-2440 makes inline OpenPGP
standards track.  If you choose to use it for email, that's great, but
the standard says nothing one way or the other.  OpenPGP is not an
email standard any more than TCP is an email standard, even though it
is commonly used in/for email.

> as an official standard then, does mutt support it? i've heard that it
> doesn't, which is one of the reasons that i was under the impression that
> it's not an official standard.

If mutt supports it (it does), that's great, but it has nothing to do
with whether it is "official" or a "standard".


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