[Mailman-Users] How to PRESERVE multipart/mixed format

Brad Knowles brad at shub-internet.org
Wed Mar 7 09:57:55 CET 2007

At 2:50 PM +0200 3/6/07, andReadG wrote:

>  The link is correct and everything works in the
>  end, but I would prefer the original attachment to
>  remain within the original mime multipart message!

The sending of any kind of MIME/HTML format e-mail is a really, 
really bad idea.  It's bad enough that there isn't a single mail 
client on the planet that can actually do anything remotely close to 
a decent job of *writing* MIME/HTML format messages, but compound 
that with the problem that there isn't a single mail client on the 
planet that is capable of properly *reading* MIME/HTML format 
messages, and you have a disaster.

The problem is that crap from one particular vendor will mostly 
kinda-semi-sorta work okay with other crap from the same vendor, but 
then everyone gets lulled into this sense that everyone else should 
be exposed to the same crap.  More importantly, people get criminally 
misled into the view that their particular brand of crap should 
necessarily be inflicted upon the entire rest of the world, because 
it "obviously" works quite well enough for them -- if only the entire 
rest of the world would kow-tow to them.

Of course, the particular brand of crap from one vendor rarely 
interoperates well at all with any kind of crap from any other kind 
of vendor.

Trust me, when it comes to MIME/HTML and any kind of MIME/multipart 
format, the whole world would be so much better off if the entire 
concept had never been invented.

Short of that, it would be best if all of that got removed from the 
entire rest of the world, so that we wouldn't have to deal with all 

Failing that, we should at least try to fix all multi-party 
communications channels that happen through commonly shared 
mechanisms such as mailing lists.

And yes, I recognize the hubris and irony in suggesting that I know 
better than anyone else in the world on this subject, and that 
everyone else should kow-tow to me.  ;)

>  Can it be done?

Yeah.  Turn off all filtering within Mailman.

And be prepared for the deluge of sewage.

>  (note: the actual MTA is postfix)

The MTA you use is not relevant to this particular question.

Please understand, I'm not blaming you for any of this.  I know that 
you've probably got some sort of impossible demand that has been 
handed down to you from $DEITY's-gift-to-your-organization, and that 
you have to just live with it.

But that doesn't make it a good idea.

Sometimes people demand that you do things that are not in their best 
interest.  And sometimes when you give them what they demand, even if 
you know how bad it is for them, it doesn't actually blow up in their 
face -- at least, not immediately.

But you know that, sooner or later, it will blow up in their face, 
and then they will forget that they demanded that you give them the 
loaded bazooka without a safety and then blame you for allowing them 
to blow off their entire leg -- and half the city as well.

Face it -- you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't.  That's 
just the nature of this business.  But you should at least have some 
sort of idea of what you're getting yourself into.

>  I hope I'm not asking something naive!

Sadly enough, no.

Brad Knowles <brad at shub-internet.org>, Consultant & Author
LinkedIn Profile: <http://tinyurl.com/y8kpxu>
Slides from Invited Talks: <http://tinyurl.com/tj6q4>

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