[TUHS] attachments: MIME and uuencode

Larry McVoy lm at mcvoy.com
Mon Mar 13 04:22:18 AEST 2017


Back when I was at Sun the attachment thing was all the rage.  Yet
I developed a system, I did my important stuff in roff, I'd attach
the typeset version but I'd make the main message be nroff | colcrt -
output.

Why?  Because while all the "cool kids" liked the attachments, the 
execs (they'd be the guys I was trying to convince) just read whatever
the text said.  If they wanted to see the other stuff they forwarded
to their admin who knew how to print it.

I was measurably more effective at getting the execs to do what I 
wanted than other engineers.

On Sun, Mar 12, 2017 at 02:13:55PM -0400, Doug McIlroy wrote:
> Allowing more or less arbitrary attachments was a real convenience.
> But allowing such stuff to serve as the message proper was 
> dubious at best. Not only did it require recipients to obtain
> special software to read some messages; it also posed a
> security threat. 
> 
> I still use mailx precisely because it will only display plain text.
> With active text such as HTML, it is all too easy to mistakenly
> brush over a phishing link. Outfits like Constant Contact do their
> nonprofit clients a disservice by sending stuff that I won't even
> peek at. And it's an annoying chore when companies I actually want
> to deal with send receipts and the like in (godawful) HTML only.
> 
> Doug

-- 
---
Larry McVoy            	     lm at mcvoy.com             http://www.mcvoy.com/lm 


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