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From "Robert Burrell Donkin (JIRA)" <mime4j-...@james.apache.org>
Subject [jira] Created: (MIME4J-112) Define Limits Of Round Tripping In Mime4J
Date Fri, 06 Feb 2009 21:04:59 GMT
Define Limits Of Round Tripping In Mime4J
-----------------------------------------

                 Key: MIME4J-112
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/MIME4J-112
             Project: JAMES Mime4j
          Issue Type: Task
    Affects Versions: 0.6
            Reporter: Robert Burrell Donkin
             Fix For: 0.7


By round tripping, I mean parsing some MIME document into a fully decomposed form and then
recreating a new version of the document from this form. 

In theory, Mime4J decomposition and recomposition could be made perfect with no loss of information.
In other words, given a MIME document, the parser could completely decompose the document
and a bitwise identical copy could be recomposed.

In practice, the limits of support are questionable. Some limitations may be expedient. For
example, perhaps comments and encoding of ASCII characters are not sufficiently important
to be worth preserving. Other limitations may arise from MIME documents which are not strictly
compliant with the specification - for example, the use of unescaped non-ASCII characters
in MIME headers may mean that the output would need to be escaped to ensure compliance.

It is important to define and describe the limits of round tripping so that users and developers
are clear about the level of support MIme4J claims. In addition, sufficient unit tests should
be created to ensure in confidence that  documents within these limits are correctly handled.

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