More About MIME

[previous] [next] [table of contents] [index]

MIME is evolving. New content subtypes are being added. The documents in this section may be out of date by the time you see them.

As of this writing, the best place to start is the regularly updated MIME FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) list. You can get it by reading the comp.mail.mime or news.answers Usenet newsgroups. It's available from these (and other) anonymous FTP archives:

If you can't read Usenet, and if you don't have an Internet connection, you can get the FAQ by mail server. To do that, send a message to with these lines in the body:
size 0
send /usenet/comp.mail.mime/*
The size 0 command tells the server not to split long messages into parts; if the messages you get seem to be truncated, re-send your request with a command like size 30000 to make messages no more than 30,000 characters long. To get help from the mail server, send a message to the above address; in the body, put the single word help.

The source for information on MIME is the set of Internet RFC (Request for Comment) documents. The version of MIME covered in this book is described by RFC 1521. Unlike some other RFCs, RFC 1521 is easy to read -- a combination of precise technical information with lots of "plain English" explanation and many examples. You really should get a copy; the Section RFCs and Internet Drafts explains how. You can find other useful RFCs in the Reference List.

The Usenet newsgroup comp.mail.mime (as well as the mailing list info-mime, if you can't read Usenet) discuss MIME. For instructions about joining the mailing list, see the latest FAQ.

Information about how MH handles MIME is at appropriate places all through the book. The major sections are:

Also see your online MH manual pages -- especially mhn(1).

A good book about electronic mail and MIME, written by the person who did most of the work on MH's MIME support, is The Internet Message by Marshall T. Rose. (See the Reference List.)

[Table of Contents] [Index] [Previous: Multipart Messages] [Next: Chapter Introduction: Setting Up]

Last change $Date: 1996/06/06 16:33:21 $

This file is from the third edition of the book MH & xmh: Email for Users & Programmers, ISBN 1-56592-093-7, by Jerry Peek. Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1995 by O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. This file is freely-available; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation. For more information, see the file copying.htm.

Suggestions are welcome: Jerry Peek <>