Mike ODELL mo at ccr.org
Thu Sep 20 08:39:33 CDT 2012

in spite of their long use, digests have always been problematic.
to some, a digest is just several emails glued together as one big one.
others want digests to be a genuine container which can be 
"de-digestified" to recover the individual emails, even if the elements are
again digests! when the email format makes no provision for recursive encapsulation
this gets done by informal hacks which enter the implementer folklore and
are honored only sporadically and possibly incompletely.

when MIME arrived (long before HTML showed up), people decided digests could
finally be done right! If only...

while MIME makes it conceptually simpler, the implementation is complex and tricky.
then add HTLM components of multi-part emails and the whole re-incapsulation
mess explodes again. some digestifiers try to "flatten" as much as possible because
email user programs are not uniform in their ability to handle the most general
interpretations while others try to do as little as possible and leave it to the
email user programs to deal with it. 

the result is that it is easy to believe the problem is in the interaction of the 
digestifier and incoming email formats and what it is trying to do to be "helpful".

as we have seen, these problems are difficult to detect and identify, and are even 
harder to understand, isolate and get sorted-out. 

patience, good humor, and good luck to all concerned with the effort.


Sent from my iPad so please excuse the jammy fingers.

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