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RE: Problem with binary data

From: Tor Arntsen <>
Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 17:31:50 +0100

On Oct 31, 17:16, "Sharma, Amit" wrote:
>I would think that encoding is necessary for the similar reason why we do
>MIME encoding/ base64 encoding prior to transmission. Though am not an
>expert to comment on this, however, we have faced problems if data is sent
>over network and involving multi OS without encoding the binary content.

MIME- and base64-encodings are mainly mail-formats, and they are used
for basically two reasons:
1) When data can mean different things, e.g. charsets: MIME creates a
dataset with its own interpretation rules encoded right into the data.
2) When you want to transfer data over a medium which cannot transfer
binary data reliably, either because it's 7-bit (some mail programs)
or because displaying raw binary data would crash the application (the
rest of the mail programs :-)

>Am not an expert of HTTP either so could anybody suggest if there is a
>difference in the way in which HTTP handles data? How does it treat binary

HTTP handles binary data just fine, it solves the data interpretation
problem nicely by sending Content-Type: headers ahead of the actual
data. You don't ever really need to encode the data in e.g. base64
at all.


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Received on 2003-10-31