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

Chris De Young chd at
Tue Aug 9 09:11:09 CEST 2005

On Tue, Aug 09, 2005 at 01:45:02AM -0000, Greg Sabino Mullane wrote:
> > Just say no to inline PGP!
> Some reasons I use inline:
> * 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.

> * 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.

> It is also easy for people
> to forward the signed message.

Forwarding a MIME message (intact) is, arguably, even easier.

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.

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