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(Node.js) MIME Content-Transfer-Encoding Header Field

Explains the Content-Transfer-Encoding header field and how it affects how data is stored in the MIME.

Install Chilkat for Node.js and Electron using npm at

Chilkat npm packages for Node.js

Chilkat npm packages for Electron

on Windows, Linux, MacOSX, and ARM

var os = require('os');
if (os.platform() == 'win32') {  
    if (os.arch() == 'ia32') {
        var chilkat = require('@chilkat/ck-node11-win-ia32');
    } else {
        var chilkat = require('@chilkat/ck-node11-win64'); 
    }
} else if (os.platform() == 'linux') {
    if (os.arch() == 'arm') {
        var chilkat = require('@chilkat/ck-node11-arm');
    } else if (os.arch() == 'x86') {
        var chilkat = require('@chilkat/ck-node11-linux32');
    } else {
        var chilkat = require('@chilkat/ck-node11-linux64');
    }
} else if (os.platform() == 'darwin') {
    var chilkat = require('@chilkat/ck-node11-macosx');
}

function chilkatExample() {

    // The Content-Transfer-Encoding header field is typically set to one of these values:
    // 
    //   base64
    //   quoted-printable
    //   binary
    //   8bit
    //   7bit

    // If the encoding is base64 or quoted-printable, then the bytes of the content are encoded as such.
    // The values "8bit", "7bit", and "binary" all imply that NO encoding has been performed.

    // Here are some guidelines and hints:
    // 
    // 1) "8bit", "7bit", and "binary" encodings (i.e. NO encoding) results in the smallest MIME.

    // 2) A "binary" encoding implies non-text data.  Binary MIME CANNOT be retrieved as a string.  It can only be retrieved as a byte array.

    // 3) "8bit" and "7bit" encodings imply text.  
    //    7bit implies that the text is us-ascii (all byte values less than or equal to 0x7F).
    //    8bit implies that the text contains non-us-ascii chars.

    // 4) Base64 is the best choice for encoding non-text data, such as PDF's, images, etc.

    // 5) quoted-printable is the best choice for encoding text data where most chars are going to be us-ascii. This would typically 
    //    include all Western European languages.  For Asian, Arabic, Hebrew, etc. where most chars in the text are non-us-ascii,
    //    the most efficient encoding would be base64.  

    // Let's demonstrate with this small JPG image.
    var success;
    var sbJpgBase64 = new chilkat.StringBuilder();
    sbJpgBase64.Append("/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEASABIAAD//gAmRmlsZSB3cml0dGVuIGJ5IEFkb2JlIFBob3Rvc2hvcD8g\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("NC4w/9sAQwAQCwwODAoQDg0OEhEQExgoGhgWFhgxIyUdKDozPTw5Mzg3QEhcTkBEV0U3OFBtUVdf\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("YmdoZz5NcXlwZHhcZWdj/9sAQwEREhIYFRgvGhovY0I4QmNjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2Nj\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("Y2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2Nj/8IAEQgAFAAUAwERAAIRAQMRAf/EABcAAAMBAAAA\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("AAAAAAAAAAAAAAIDBAX/xAAYAQADAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAgMEAP/aAAwDAQACEAMQAAAB2kZY\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("NNEijWKddfTmLgALWH//xAAbEAACAgMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAgMRAAQSE//aAAgBAQABBQL0XqN+\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("pM2aqJGMiqFFCyg7z//EABwRAAICAgMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAERAAIQIQMSUf/aAAgBAwEBPwHqU5aq\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("Axx+y1tMQl4elj//xAAcEQEAAQUBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAABEQACEBIhA1H/2gAIAQIBAT8B3Bhqy7Zc\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("enyiwmGgDhiOzj//xAAdEAABAwUBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAAIREBIhIkFR/9oACAEBAAY/ArZyn+Cg\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("xtxWuJaoCnqDuin/xAAcEAABBAMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABABEhYRAxQVH/2gAIAQEAAT8hkEwPUUR9\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("DYfE4nxtRpIkBTsayuALIiuY/9oADAMBAAIAAwAAABDWPTsf/8QAGhEAAwADAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAA\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("AAEREDFBIf/aAAgBAwEBPxC0DVPcWm+Ce4OesrkE6bjH/8QAGBEBAQEBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAREA\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("QRD/2gAIAQIBAT8QahMiOc8YgSrnTY3ELclHXn//xAAcEAEBAAIDAQEAAAAAAAAAAAABEQAhMUFx\r\n");
    sbJpgBase64.Append("EFH/2gAIAQEAAT8Qn3igmSZSj+c4N4zapMy9IjFV98wncN2iuLFsCEbDGxQkI6RO/n//2Q==\r\n");

    var mime = new chilkat.Mime();
    mime.ContentType = "image/jpeg";
    mime.SetBodyFromEncoded("base64",sbJpgBase64.GetAsString());

    console.log(mime.GetMime());
    console.log("-");

    // The result:
    // 
    // 	Content-Type: image/jpeg
    // 	Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
    // 
    // 	/9j/4AAQSkZJRgABAQEASABIAAD//gAmRmlsZSB3cml0dGVuIGJ5IEFkb2JlIFBob3Rvc2hvcD8g
    // 	NC4w/9sAQwAQCwwODAoQDg0OEhEQExgoGhgWFhgxIyUdKDozPTw5Mzg3QEhcTkBEV0U3OFBtUVdf
    // 	YmdoZz5NcXlwZHhcZWdj/9sAQwEREhIYFRgvGhovY0I4QmNjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2Nj
    // 	Y2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2NjY2Nj/8IAEQgAFAAUAwERAAIRAQMRAf/EABcAAAMBAAAA
    // 	AAAAAAAAAAAAAAIDBAX/xAAYAQADAQEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAgMEAP/aAAwDAQACEAMQAAAB2kZY
    // 	NNEijWKddfTmLgALWH//xAAbEAACAgMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAgMRAAQSE//aAAgBAQABBQL0XqN+
    // 	pM2aqJGMiqFFCyg7z//EABwRAAICAgMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAERAAIQIQMSUf/aAAgBAwEBPwHqU5aq
    // 	Axx+y1tMQl4elj//xAAcEQEAAQUBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAABEQACEBIhA1H/2gAIAQIBAT8B3Bhqy7Zc
    // 	enyiwmGgDhiOzj//xAAdEAABAwUBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABAAIREBIhIkFR/9oACAEBAAY/ArZyn+Cg
    // 	xtxWuJaoCnqDuin/xAAcEAABBAMBAAAAAAAAAAAAAAABABEhYRAxQVH/2gAIAQEAAT8hkEwPUUR9
    // 	DYfE4nxtRpIkBTsayuALIiuY/9oADAMBAAIAAwAAABDWPTsf/8QAGhEAAwADAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
    // 	AAEREDFBIf/aAAgBAwEBPxC0DVPcWm+Ce4OesrkE6bjH/8QAGBEBAQEBAQAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAREA
    // 	QRD/2gAIAQIBAT8QahMiOc8YgSrnTY3ELclHXn//xAAcEAEBAAIDAQEAAAAAAAAAAAABEQAhMUFx
    // 	EFH/2gAIAQEAAT8Qn3igmSZSj+c4N4zapMy9IjFV98wncN2iuLFsCEbDGxQkI6RO/n//2Q==
    // 

    // Set the Content-Transfer-Encoding to "binary" by setting the Encoding property.
    mime.Encoding = "binary";

    // Try to get the MIME string.  This CANNOT be done.  The bytes of the JPG image do not
    // represent chars, and to return a string means that bytes must be interpreted according
    // to some character encoding (such as utf-8).  Non-text binary bytes can only be 
    // contained in a string IF encoded in some way. Encodings such as Base64, quoted-printable,
    // URL, etc. exist to make it possible to represent binary data in string format.   
    console.log(mime.GetMime());
    console.log("-");

    // We CAN get the binary MIME as bytes..

    mimeBytes = mime.GetMimeBytes();

    // Regardless of the Content-Transfer-Encoding, the 
    // body content can always be retrieved and the body bytes
    // decoded from whatever encoding is used..

    jpgBytes = mime.GetBodyBinary();

    // To get the body in base64 format, first make sure
    // the Content-Transfer-Encoding is base64, then call GetBodyEncoded.
    mime.Encoding = "base64";
    var jpgBase64 = mime.GetBodyEncoded();
    console.log(jpgBase64);
    console.log("-");

    // Let's go back to "binary" MIME..
    mime.Encoding = "binary";

    // Let's say we have MIME, and it was loaded directly from a file, or from
    // a byte array.  (It was not loaded from the contents of a string variable.)
    // We don't know whether the MIME contains binary or 8bit encodings, and thus
    // we dont' know if the MIME is safe to get as a string.
    // The Convert8Bit method can be called to recursively traverse the MIME and set
    // all 8bit or binary encodings to "base64".  This makes the MIME safe for storing in
    // a string.
    mime.Convert8Bit();
    var mimeStr = mime.GetMime();
    console.log(mimeStr);
    console.log("-");

}

chilkatExample();

 

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