MIME -- Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions

"MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a standard to send stuff other than 7Bit ASCII by e-mail." (Claus Aßmann)

The standard is composed of three parts:

  • Part One: Format of Internet Message Bodies -- RFC 2045 [1 ]
  • Part Two: Media Types -- RFC 2046 [2 ]
  • Part Three: Message Header Extensions for Non-ASCII Text -- RFC 2047 [3 ]

It started as an extension to RFC 822 [4 ], which describes internet mail, but has a much broader usage.

DKF: It's particularly important for smtp and http, but finds good use with nntp (though not usually the attachment parts there).