Re: SMTP question

Marshall Rose (mrose@gremlin.nrtc.northrop.COM)
Thu, 23 Jul 87 07:11:03 -0700

    I don't know what the "official" word is, but SMTP is designed for
    moving ascii messages. Although the gurus will probably tell you
    otherwise, SMTP is very dependent on rfc822, which defines the
    format of text messages. This probably isn't the fault of SMTP,
    since all of the mailers which use SMTP also depend on rfc822 or
    rfc822-like formats being used.

    If you want to use SMTP to move arbitrary octets in messages, then
    on UNIX, using something like atob and btoa. btoa takes a "binary"
    stream (8-bit bytes) and explodes it into a 7-bit data path with
    line breaks at column 78 (or something like that); atob performs the
    inverse operation. I'm sure other systems have similar programs.

    Alternately, find someone running X.400 in the Internet and just use
    X.400. Of course, it's probably going to be another three years
    before X.400 mailers will have the reach of SMTP mailers.


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