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Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Sun Oct 29 03:21:28 CET 2006

At 7:55 AM -0700 10/28/06, Mark Sapiro wrote:

>  In short, it's a request that I wouldn't put any effort into
>  implementing unless there was overwhelming demand for it.

There's a much more basic problem -- you'd have to parse the 
MIME/HTML bodyparts of each of the messages being submitted, convert 
them to some sort of canonical form, and then wrap them in a larger 
MIME/HTML message.  It's hard enough to understand the formatting 
used by a single MUA, it's quite another to have to be able to 
understand the formatting used by all MUAs.

You might be able to get say 70-80% of the way there with a single 
MUA, but I don't think you could hope to achieve even 50% success 
with a wide variety of MUAs.

I would not be at all surprised if it's basically impossible to 
perform this task, at least to any kind of moderately adequate level.

This is the equivalent of being able to write a program that can 
understand all spoken/written human languages, convert them to a 
single canonical form, and then put them all together into a single 

I don't know if you've ever seen Babelfish or other automated 
translation tools, but let's just say that, even on their best day, 
they are only barely adequate for the simplest of translations 
between the most common of languages.  You wouldn't want to try to 
run the United Nations using such tools.

Brad Knowles, <brad at shub-internet.org>

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