Toby DiPasquale on 3 Nov 2005 14:05:17 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] OT: MIME and messages from Apple Mail

On Thu, Nov 03, 2005 at 07:50:44AM -0500, Jeff Abrahamson wrote:
> I have a friend who is using Apple Mail who is having trouble sending
> me image attachments.  Or, rather, I'm having trouble receiving them.
>     X-Mailer: Apple Mail (2.734)
> The problem is that while his MUA should (and used to) do something
> like this:
>   I   1 <no description>                 [text/plain, 7bit, us-ascii, 0.3K]
>   I   2 chris_southern_ca_siding.jpg             [image/jpeg, base64, 8.7M]
> It's actually started doing this:
>   I   1 <no description>                   [multipa/alternativ, 7bit, 2.7M]
>   I   2    <no description>               [text/plain, quoted, utf-8, 0.6K]
>   I   3    <no description>                   [multipa/related, 7bit, 2.7M]
>   I   4      <no description>         [text/html, quoted, iso-8859-1, 2.2K]
>   I   5      IMG_2965.JPG                        [image/jpeg, base64, 2.7M]
> Note that the image attachment is part of the text/html bundle and so
> the supposedly equivalent text/plain bundle doesn't get the pic.
> At first I thought this was a simple drag-and-drop vs attach subtlety,
> but he says no.  Any suggestions how either to help him or compensate
> here?  (The problem is that I'm not shown that there's an image
> attached, although I can see, if I notice, that the message is much
> bigger than the text would suggest.)

I hate to break this to you, but Apple Mail is doing the correct thing
here. This is the standard way to wrap an embedded image in an
HTML-formatted message which also carries a plain text part for MUAs that
can't display HTML.

The structure of the message indicates that a reader should display only
one of the top level parts (multipart/alternative). Having chosen that
part based on the MUAs capabilities, it will then attempt to render the
MIME subtree under that part. In this case, your MUA chose the text/plain
alternative. For you to see the image, your MUA would have had to render
the multipart/related alternative, with the constituent HTML and JPEG

While this may be annoying, both MUAs are acting appropriately. To see the
image, just browse the attachments and open the JPEG in your favorite
image viewer. Or switch to an MUA that can render HTML/images.

Toby DiPasquale
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