The text/enriched MIME Content-type (RFC1896)
Original Publication Date: 1996-Feb-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2019-Feb-12
Internet Society Requests For Comment (RFCs)
P. Resnick: AUTHOR [+1]
This document defines one particular type of MIME data, the text/enriched MIME type. This memo provides information for the Internet community. This memo does not specify an Internet standard of any kind.
Network Working Group P. Resnick Request for Comments: 1896 QUALCOMM Obsoletes: 1523, 1563 A. Walker Category: Informational InterCon February 1996
The text/enriched MIME Content-type
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.
MIME [RFC-1521] defines a format and general framework for the representation of a wide variety of data types in Internet mail. This document defines one particular type of MIME data, the text/enriched MIME type. The text/enriched MIME type is intended to facilitate the wider interoperation of simple enriched text across a wide variety of hardware and software platforms. This document is only a minor revision to the text/enriched MIME type that was first described in [RFC-1523] and [RFC-1563], and is only intended to be used in the short term until other MIME types for text formatting in Internet mail are developed and deployed.
The text/enriched MIME type
In order to promote the wider interoperability of simple formatted text, this document defines an extremely simple subtype of the MIME content-type "text", the "text/enriched" subtype. The content-type line for this type may have one optional parameter, the "charset" parameter, with the same values permitted for the "text/plain" MIME content-type.
The text/enriched subtype was designed to meet the following criteria:
1. The syntax must be extremely simple to parse, so that even teletype-oriented mail systems can easily strip away the formatting information and leave only the readable text.
2. The syntax must be extensible to allow for new formatting commands that are deemed essential for some application.
Resnick & Walker Informational [Page 1]
RFC 1896 text/enriched MIME Content-type February 1996
3. If the character set in use is ASCII or an 8-bit ASCII superset, then the raw form of the data must be readable enough to be largely unobjectionable in the event that it is displayed on the screen of the user of a non-MIME-conformant mail reader.
4. The capabilities must be extremely limited, to ensure that it can represent no more than is likely to be representable by the user’s primary word processor. While this limits what can be sent, it increases the likelihood that what is sent can be properly displayed.
There are other text formatting standards which meet some of these criteria. In particular, HTML and SGML have come into widespread use on the Internet. However, there are two important reasons that this document further promotes the use of text/enriched in Internet mail over other such standards:
1. Most MIME-aware Internet mail applications are already able to either properly format text/enriched mail or, at the very least, are able to strip out the formatting commands and display the readable text. The same is not true for HTML or SGML.
2. The current RFC on HTML [RFC-1866] and Internet Drafts on SGML have many feature...