file corruption and 7 bit

Das Devaraj das at
Tue Dec 17 19:14:09 UTC 1996

On Tue, 17 Dec 1996, Claude Setzer wrote:

> I am very sorry that I personally do not have a large amount of time to devote
> to this, but something I think would be very useful would be to compile a
> detailed list of compatible and non-compatible means of transferring 8 bit
> character/glyph sets over INTERNET.

This discussion is getting pretty technical, but don't know where people 
are going with this.  What follows are technical details and not 
Indology.  So feel free to skip this message.

Anything (including binary) can be transferred over the internet without 
any problems.  Basically, what is needed is an e-mail program which is not 
brain-dead at the sending/receiving end.  Pegasus Mail (a free windows 
program is good).  PINE also does a pretty good job.  Even the old 
standby Eudora Light (which is free I believe) will do a credible job.

> This could, perhaps be hosted by the Indology Web site. Based on this I think
> we might be able to arrange for all or most of the members of  Indology to
> start using this more complete system. 

Lot of mailing lists do not allow attachments.  If the current list 
server can handle MIME complaint e-mails, nothing special needs to be 
> I have absolutely no argument with anything you said, but others seem to think
> that it is possible to transfer 8 bit character sets even when a 7 bit
> encoding scheme is used.

The 7 bits has to do more with the communication links than the computer 
proper.  Computer is always 8 bits or 16 bits etc. 

> I have found that Microsoft's (free) INTERNET mail
> software has several methods of encoding 8 bit character sets. 

Try to get the programs mentioned above, or even Netscape.

> My experiments
> seem to favor the UUencode method rather than the MIME for transfer of high
> characters. (This is the label Microsoft gives it. Their encoding labeled MIME
> seems to work less easily. Uuencode gives actual high characters, base 64
> gives gibberish, Quoted gives an = sign followed by the character number on my
> email receiver (the one that eliminates the last bit of character map when
> sending). But perhaps some simple software would reinterpret the = and
> character to give the proper glyph.)

UUencode/MIME etc are not Microsoft labels.  UUencode has been with with 
Unix, as far as I can remember (latest version on my machine is dated 
1987).  MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) originally started 
with Bellcore I believe in 1991.  As a general note, mail systems should 
not be asking people to choose encoding systems but act transparently.

If somebody really wants to get into doing something exotic with mail 
system, they should read RFC822 for basic e-mail and RFC2045, RCF2046, 
RFC2047, RFC2048 and RFC2049 for MIME.

The best bet to finding working software on Internet - whether mail or 
for other purposes - is to check whether the software is RFC complaint.  
If the vendor says, they use "proprietary"  software which is "better" 
than the standard or some other line like that, say a polite "Thanks, but 
No-Thanks" and don't touch it with a ten foot pole.  Of course, if you 
decide to use it inspite of the warning. learn to live with the 

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