Base 64 posts to the list

Mouse mouse at Rodents-Montreal.ORG
Fri Dec 2 07:21:47 CST 2016

> Lately, some list posts have begun appearing in Base 64 format.  I
> read the list in daily digest mode, and these posts are not converted
> to anything sensible, [...].

> Is there a way of dealing with this, apart from humbly requesting
> posters to not post in Base 64?

It may not always be the poster's choice.  One of the characteristics
MIME was designed with was that certain transformations may be made
mechanically and are not considered to change the message (in the
senses that, for example, it does not need a different Message-Id:, and
should be considered the same for deduping purposes).

One of these transformations is a re-encoding, such as a change from
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit to Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
(or the other way around, for that matter).  I frequently get mail
which was, in the words of the the header added to one example,

X-MIME-Autoconverted: from quoted-printable to 8bit by Stone.Rodents-Montreal.ORG id DAA28998

(Stone being my house network's MTA host.)  So it's entirely possible
that the sender produced something reasonable, like 8bit or
quoted-printable, but some intermediate MTA converted it to base64.

The right way of handling this from a MIME perspective would be for the
some part of the list software to do such conversions, so that (for
example) the messages being packaged into a digest all get converted to
8bit before digest generation runs (and the digest itself may itself
get converted, either right after generation or by some intermediate

But, I suspect that, in this case, the brain cycles to make anything
like that happen are close to unavailable.  I know _I_ certainly don't
want to add to the time-and-energy cost the list is exacting from our
honoured listowner.

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