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Re: base64 behavior is not MIME compliant

From: Nic Ferrier
Subject: Re: base64 behavior is not MIME compliant
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2005 22:09:16 +0100

"Richard M. Stallman" <address@hidden> writes:

>     RFC 3548 has this to say about characters not part of the encoding
>     alphabet:
>       Implementations MUST reject the encoding if it contains characters
>       outside the base alphabet when interpreting base encoded data, unless
>       the specification referring to this document explicitly states
>       otherwise.  Such specifications may, as MIME does, instead state that
>       characters outside the base encoding alphabet should simply be ignored
>       when interpreting data ("be liberal in what you accept").
> Words such as "must" claim an authority we do not recognize in the GNU
> Project.  We do not _obey_ standards--rather, we see what they have to
> say, consider their recommendations, then do what seems best.
>     I believe the best fix is for base64-decode-region to take an optional
>     argument which specifies how liberal it should be about it's input,
>     defaulting to the current behavior, and for Gnus to use this argument.
> To decide whether to do this, we need to know the answers to three questions:
> Is there some situation in which the current behavior of
> base64-decode-region causes an actual problem or confusion for
> users?

I use base64-decode-region in my own email client written in elisp.

I have *never* had a problem with it decoding a file so I couldn't
read it.


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