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RE: I-D ACTION:draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt

From: Dan Wing <dwing@cisco.com>
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 01:00:10 -0800
To: "Jacob Palme" <jpalme@dsv.su.se>, <discuss@apps.ietf.org>
Cc: <langtrans@salut.nu>
> My new idea is to use "Multipart/alternative" but to have
> the following set of alternative content parts:
> (1)           Plain text, all language versions concatenated within
>                the text of one body part.

Concatinating makes it impossible for a computer to ever
determine there are multiple languages present; we'll forever
be stuck with this weakness, and will need some MIME-like
device ("++boundary++" or suchlike) to separate the different

As the behavior of the concatinated text is the same as
multipart/mixed (all parts of multipart/mixed have to
be 'processed' or displayed to the user), how about using
multipart/alternative as you have proposed, but using
multipart/mixed as a sub-type for each language within the
plain part, like this:

  Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=ABC

  content-type: multipart/mixed; boundary=HHH

  content-type: text/plain
  content-language: english

  Good day.

  content-type: text/plain
  content-language: german

  Guten Tag.


However, I don't know how mailers respond to multipart/mixed embedded inside
multipart/alternative.  As nested MIME parts aren't common, some mailers may
puke on this.

> (2) .. (n-1) The different language versions, one part
>               for each language.
> (n)          HTML, all language versions concatenated within the
>               text of the body part, adding a "table of contents" at the
>               top with a list of the languages and internal links to the
>               part of the HTML with each language.

Concatinating makes it difficult/impossible to write a parser that
could pull out individual languages.  But there isn't a way in HTML
to reliably get at other 'attachments'...  Hm, I can't think of a
different way to do this.


> I am sure people will not like this solution either. But
> those who do not like either of my solutions, should then
> propose a third solution which works also with the
> installed base of mailers. Proposing to use
> "Multipart/alternative" combined with one body part for
> each language will *never* work. No mailer will want to
> send a message in a format which will be misunderstood
> disastrously by most of the installed base of mailers.
> My new solutions has two disadvantages: It is not neat, and
> the text is copied three times. It has, however, a major
> advantage: It will work acceptably well with the installed
> base, and it will work best, of course, with mailers
> supporting the new standard.
> That the text is repeated three times is not a major
> problem since users will only see one of the parts,
> and bandwith is not expensive. That the solution is
> not neat is not a major advantage, it is a long
> tradition in IETF to prefer solutions which works to
> solutions which are neat. No one has said that encoding
> binary or 8-bit text as 7-bit text in MIME is neat.
> But it was chosen in order to work acceptably with
> the installed base of MTAs and MUAs.
> >To: IETF-Announce: ;
> >From: Internet-Drafts@ietf.org
> >Reply-to: Internet-Drafts@ietf.org
> >Subject: I-D ACTION:draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt
> >Date: Wed, 09 Jan 2002 16:05:40 -0500
> >Sender: scoya@cnri.reston.va.us
> >
> >
> >
> >A New Internet-Draft is available from the on-line
> >Internet-Drafts directories.
> >
> >
> >	Title		: Support for Language Translation
> >in E-Mail and Netnews
> >	Author(s)	: J. Palme
> >	Filename	: draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt
> >	Pages		: 7
> >	Date		: 08-Jan-02
> >
> >This memo specifies extensions to e-mail and netnews
> >standards, to allow for the submission of translations of
> >messages, not only at initial submission time, but also at
> >later time, and made by other translators than the original
> >author of the message. Three new e-mail/netnews header
> >fields are proposed, 'Content-Translation-Of', 'Content-
> >Translator' and 'Translation-Request'.
> >
> >A URL for this Internet-Draft is:
> >http://www.ietf.org/internet-drafts/draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt
> >
> >To remove yourself from the IETF Announcement list, send a message to
> >ietf-announce-request with the word unsubscribe in the body of
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> >
> >Internet-Drafts are also available by anonymous FTP. Login with
> the username
> >"anonymous" and a password of your e-mail address. After logging in,
> >type "cd internet-drafts" and then
> >	"get draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt".
> >
> >A list of Internet-Drafts directories can be found in
> >http://www.ietf.org/shadow.html
> >or ftp://ftp.ietf.org/ietf/1shadow-sites.txt
> >
> >
> >Internet-Drafts can also be obtained by e-mail.
> >
> >Send a message to:
> >	mailserv@ietf.org.
> >In the body type:
> >	"FILE /internet-drafts/draft-palme-e-mail-translation-03.txt".
> >
> >NOTE:	The mail server at ietf.org can return the document in
> >	MIME-encoded form by using the "mpack" utility.  To use this
> >	feature, insert the command "ENCODING mime" before the "FILE"
> >	command.  To decode the response(s), you will need "munpack" or
> >	a MIME-compliant mail reader.  Different MIME-compliant mail readers
> >	exhibit different behavior, especially when dealing with
> >	"multipart" MIME messages (i.e. documents which have been split
> >	up into multiple messages), so check your local documentation on
> >	how to manipulate these messages.
> >
> >
> >Below is the data which will enable a MIME compliant mail reader
> >implementation to automatically retrieve the ASCII version of the
> >Internet-Draft.
> >
> >
> >[The following attachment must be fetched by mail.
> >Command-click the URL below and send the resulting message
> >to get the attachment.]
> ><mailto:mailserv@ietf.org?body=ENCODING%20mime%0D%0AFILE%20/intern
>[The following attachment must be fetched by ftp.
>Command-click the URL below to ask your ftp client to
>fetch it.]

Jacob Palme <jpalme@dsv.su.se> (Stockholm University and KTH)
for more info see URL: http://www.dsv.su.se/jpalme/
Received on Tuesday, 15 January 2002 04:01:04 GMT

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