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[ccp4bb]: Mail & Mime (was attachments)

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As a follow-up to my previous complaints about "attachments" I've
tracked down the immediate problem but I need someone who knows about
mail to explain it. It's probably nothing to do with attachments but
to do with MIME encoding.

I'm using XEmacs (actually vm) to read mail.

I took a message that came in from the ccp4bb as plain text and
compared it to one which insisted that I had to save it to a file
before I could read it, then tried mutating one into the other &
resending it to myself to track down the significant difference: this
turns out to be a single line in the header


Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii

which comes up as a plain text message in my mail-reader as normal


Content-Type: text/plain; charset=big5

which insists that I should save it to a file

What's going on? What is "big5" & where does it come from? (this was
taken from a message sent by Yu Wai Chen as it happens)


Luddite note: Email used to be simple, why has it got so complicated?