Multimedia E-mail (MIME) User Agent Checklist
RFC 1820

Document Type RFC - Informational (August 1995; No errata)
Obsoleted by RFC 1844
Author Erik Huizer 
Last updated 2013-03-02
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Network Working Group                                          E. Huizer
Request for Comments: 1820                                    SURFnet bv
Category: Informational                                      August 1995

             Multimedia E-mail (MIME) User Agent Checklist

Status of this Memo

   This memo provides information for the Internet community.  This memo
   does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.  Distribution of
   this memo is unlimited.


   This document presents a checklist to facilitate evaluation of MIME
   capable User Agents. Access to a MIME test-responder, that generates
   test-messages is described.


   This document presents a checklist that facilitates evaluation of
   MIME capable E-mail User Agents. It is by no means a conformance or
   interoperability (both strictly defined and measurable quantities)
   checklist, but rather an interworking (practical perspective)
   checklist that is aimed at the users and system managers.

Usage and submission

   If you use this checklist against a specific product (regardless of
   whether you're a vendor, implementor or user) you can submit the
   result to and this information will be
   made available (at no cost) through WWW (to be announced) for other
   people to browse through.

   Although SURFnet will attempt to verify the correctness of each
   submission, all submitted, information is made available as is, with
   no guarantees (SURFnet does not take any responsibility for errors in
   the data that is made available, or for any damages resulting from
   usage of that data). Users who want to procure a UA are advised to
   use the data as an orientation, and to perform their own procurement
   tests (possibly using the checklist below as a guideline). Also it is
   noted that vendors and implementors are encouraged to use the results
   from the checklist to improve their products.

Huizer                       Informational                      [Page 1]
RFC 1820               MIME User Agent Checklist             August 1995

Getting test messages

   For several tests in the checklist a test message is required. Test
   messages can be requested in the following way: Send mail to <mime-> with a subject field containing ONE of the

   X-local      <to test how your UA deals with undefined content-types>
   nested    <returns a message that contains nested multipart contents>
   iso-8859-1    <returns a message with text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1>

   A message containing the requested content-type will be returned to
   the address contained in the from field.


   The reader is encouraged to also check out the following references:

   The MIME standards:

   -   Borenstein N. and N. Freed, "MIME (Multipurpose Internet
       Mail Extensions) Part One: Mechanisms for specifying and
       describing the format of Internet message bodies",  RFC 1521,
       Bellcore, Innosoft, September 1993.

   -   Moore K., "MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) Part
       Two: Message header extensions for non-Ascii text", RFC 1522,
       University of Tennessee, September 1993.

Huizer                       Informational                      [Page 2]
RFC 1820               MIME User Agent Checklist             August 1995

   The registration procedure for content types:

   -   Postel J., "Media type registration procedure", RFC 1590,
       USC/Information Sciences Institute, March 1994.

   Some related informational documents:

   -   Borenstein N., "The text/enriched MIME content-type",
       RFC 1563, Bellcore, October 1994.

   -   Borenstein N., "A user agent configuration mechanism for
       multimedia mail format information", RFC 1524, Bellcore,
       September 1993.

   Registered MIME content-types can be found at the following URL:

   The SUNet MIME project: This
   offers evaluation tests reports of MIME products, as well as tests
   and test-criteria for MIME implementors.

   From Stockholm University a list of user-interface requirments for a
   mail/news reader is available under: gopher://
   reports/research-reports/messaging- research

Checklist for Mime UAs

   (note that for items with multiple choice options, it is possible
   that more than one option is applicable)

   1.  General information:
   1.1 The name and version of the product
   1.2 The name and addressing information of the manufacturer
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