Gnus Manual. Node: Using MIME

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4.2: Using MIME

Mime is a standard for waving your hands through the air, aimlessly, while people stand around yawning.

MIME, however, is a standard for encoding your articles, aimlessly, while all newsreaders die of fear.

MIME may specify what character set the article uses, the encoding of the characters, and it also makes it possible to embed pictures and other naughty stuff in innocent-looking articles.

Gnus handles MIME by pushing the articles through gnus-show-mime-method, which is metamail-buffer by default. This function calls the external metamail program to actually do the work. One common problem with this program is that is thinks that it can't display 8-bit things in the Emacs buffer. To tell it the truth, put something like the following in your `.bash_profile' file. (You do use bash, don't you?)

export MM_CHARSET="iso-8859-1"

For more information on metamail, see its manual page.

Set gnus-show-mime to t if you want to use MIME all the time. However, if gnus-strict-mime is non-nil, the MIME method will only be used if there are MIME headers in the article. If you have gnus-show-mime set, then you'll see some unfortunate display glitches in the article buffer. These can't be avoided.

It might be best to just use the toggling functions from the summary buffer to avoid getting nasty surprises. (For instance, you enter the group `alt.sing-a-long' and, before you know it, MIME has decoded the sound file in the article and some horrible sing-a-long song comes screaming out your speakers, and you can't find the volume button, because there isn't one, and people are starting to look at you, and you try to stop the program, but you can't, and you can't find the program to control the volume, and everybody else in the room suddenly decides to look at you disdainfully, and you'll feel rather stupid.)

Any similarity to real events and people is purely coincidental. Ahem.

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