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Re: [ccp4bb]: Attached files - please, do not use in CCP4 correspondence

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>>>>> "AU" == Alexandre Urzhumtsev <Alexandre> writes:

 >> Can I ask people not to send messages to ccp4bb (or anwhere else) as
 >> attachements. This seems to be becoming more common. 
 >> It makes them hard to read

I agree that attachments and other `multipart' messages are rarely
justified on lists, especially (stuff claiming to be) HTML.  Some
fascist mail list software even zaps the MIME headers.

However, as far as I can tell, those messages actually weren't (didn't
contain?) attachments.  They were correct single-part MIME¹
advertising contents in `exotic' character sets (Big5 and Latin-9²),
though they actually only used ASCII subsets.  If Phil's VM or other
mail readers lied about that, even if they can't actually display
Latin-9 and Big5, I think they're broken.³

 AU> To say nothing about a much higher risk of getting infected by
 AU> virus.

People intentionally sending attachments don't increase that risk.
Those sending viruses presumably are either malicious or have been
infected themselves and so are unaware of it.  MIME is the Right Thing
to use for non-trivial mail.  I think the onus is on the recipient not
to execute possibly malicious content, despite what Microsoft & al
encourage (unless you try to send them an abuse report :-/).

You probably don't need to know all that, but I think such issues are
actually important for scientific communication, even if they're not
the kind of thing that `E-Science' seems to care about.

At least we need a character set which supports technical symbols and
the natural language scripts for all our collaborators' names.  In
this day and age we should be using Unicode* widely and data formats
should _not_ insist on ASCII, the more so if they're sponsored by
international organizations...


¹ <URL:http://foldoc.doc.ic.ac.uk/foldoc/foldoc.cgi?mime>

² `Exotic' only insofar as it contains the Euro sign and is
  appropriate for Western European languages modulo Welsh and Manx.

  [Emacs 20 users listening could do

    (define-coding-system-alias 'iso-latin-9 'iso-latin-1)
    (define-coding-system-alias 'iso-8859-15 'iso-8859-1)

  to cope with Latin-9 and lose little; Emacs 21 will have Latin-9
  support.  I hope it will get support for at least some of the
  Unicode technical symbols in the next few months and provide a

³ Doubtless VM's author won't agree...

* <URL:http://www.unicode.org/>.  [Understanding the
  Chinese/Japanese/Korean issues.]

Whatever happened to plain text?