The MIME Information Page
MIME means Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions, and refers to an official Internet standard that specifies how messages must be formatted so that they can be exchanged between different email systems. MIME is a very flexible format, permitting one to include virtually any type of file or document in an email message. Specifically, MIME messages can contain text, images, audio, video, or other application-specific data.
INTERNET SURFERS LOOKING - ANSWERS TO MIME/EMAIL ISSUES FOLLOW THIS LINK.
To insure that email messages containing images or other non-text information will be delivered with maximum protection against corruption, MIME provides a way for non-text information to be encoded as text. This encoding is known as base64, and appears to be a source of frustration for many email users. Here's helpful information for decoding MIME messages.
The Official MIME Specification
The definitive information on the MIME format is provided by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) in the following documents:
- RFC-822 Standard for the format of ARPA Internet text messages
- RFC-2045 Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies
- RFC-2046 Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Two: Media Types
- RFC-2047 Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Three: Message Header Extensions for Non-ASCII Text
- RFC-2048 Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Four: Registration Procedures
- RFC-2049 Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (MIME) Part Five: Conformance Criteria and Examples
MIME Frequently Asked Questions
There is a list of Frequently Asked Questions About MIME.
MIME and the World Wide Web
The MIME format is also very similar to the format of information that is exchanged between a Web browser and the Web server it connects to. This related format is specified as part of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP). For the definitive information on HTTP, you should consult RFC 2616 Hypertext Transfer Protocol -- HTTP/1.1.
Email Related Links
- Sendmail.org - Supports the widely deployed email transfer agent for UNIX
- Internet Mail Consortium - Information about ongoing standards work for Internet email
- Electronic Messaging Association - Champions development and use of secure global electronic commerce
- Pine Information Center - How to get Pine, a free MIME-capable email user agent for UNIX and PCs.
- The ACAP Home Page - Information about the Application Configuration Access Protocol
- The IMAP Connection - Information about the Internet Message Access Protocol
- IANA MIME media types - Official registry of MIME media types
- Voice Profile for Internet Mail Work Group
If you are a C++ programmer interested in writing any kind of email, netnews, or HTTP application, you might want to consider using Hunny MIME++, a C++ library designed specifically to make it easier to create such applications. In Hunny MIME++, all the elements of the BNF grammar specified in the RFCs are represented as C++ classes, making the library very intuitive to use. For more information, or to download the library and its documentation, please visit the MIME++ Home Page.
Java programmers, check out Hunny JMIME, which is much the same as Hunny MIME++, only it's a pure Java class library. Information is available on the JMIME Home Page.
If you prefer developing in C, there is also the c-client library for developing MIME applications.