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Module Netmime

module Netmime: sig .. end
Netmime contains high-level classes and functions to process mail and MIME messages.


The tutorial has been moved to Netmime_tut. Parsers for MIME headers are now in Netmime_header. Parser and printers for MIME channels are now in Netmime_channels.


type store = [ `File of string | `Memory ] 
Specifies where to store the body of a mail message. `Memory means in-memory, `File name means in the file name. The body is stored in decoded form (i.e. without transfer encoding).
exception Immutable of string
Raised if it is tried to modify a read-only value. The string denotes the function or method where the incident happened.

MIME headers and bodies are defined in two steps. First the subtype describing read access is defined (mime_header_ro, and mime_body_ro), and after that the full class type including write access is defined (mime_header, and mime_body).

The idea is that you can write functions that take an ro value as input to indicate that they do not modify the value. For example:

 let number_of_fields (h:#mime_header_ro) =
   List.length (h#fields) 

This function accepts both mime_header, and mime_header_ro values as input, but the typing ensures that the function cannot mutate anything.

There is another way to ensure that a header or body is not modified. The read-only flag can be set when creating the object, and this flag causes that all trials to modify the value will raise the exception Immutable. Of course, such trials of mutation are only detected at run-time.

The advantage of the read-only flag is that it even works if mutation depends on a condition, but it can be ensured that this condition is never true. Furthermore, typing is much simpler (getting subtyping correct can be annoying).

class type mime_header_ro = object .. end
This is the read-only version of a MIME header.
class type mime_header = object .. end
A MIME header with both read and write method.
class type mime_body_ro = object .. end
This is the read-only version of a MIME body.
class type mime_body = object .. end
A MIME body with both read and write method.

One can consider the pair (mime_header, mime_body) as simple MIME message with one header and one body. Of course, this simple representation does not support multi-part messages (attachments). For that reason, the complex_mime_message was invented: The body can be further structured as a sequence of parts that are complex messages themselves.

For example, a mail message with an attachment is usually represented as

 (mail_header, `Parts [ (main_header, `Body main_body);
                        (att_header, `Body att_body) ] ) 

Here, mail_header is the real header of the mail message. main_header is the header of the main message, usually only containing the content type of main_body, the body of the main message. The attachment has also its own att_header, again usually only containing the content type, and the data of the attachment can be found in att_body.

Nowadays, mails have often even a more complicated structure with `Parts containing nested `Parts. As complex_mime_message is recursive, any kind of nesting can be easily represented.

type complex_mime_message = mime_header * complex_mime_body 
type complex_mime_body = [ `Body of mime_body | `Parts of complex_mime_message list ] 
type complex_mime_message_ro = mime_header_ro * complex_mime_body_ro 
type complex_mime_body_ro = [ `Body of mime_body_ro
| `Parts of complex_mime_message_ro list ]
The read-only view of a complex_mime_message

Note: `Parts [], i.e. `Parts together with an empty list, is considered as illegal. Such a value cannot be transformed into printable text.
type mime_message = mime_header * [ `Body of mime_body ] 
Simple MIME message, in a form that is compatible with complex ones.
type mime_message_ro = mime_header_ro * [ `Body of mime_body_ro ] 
Read-only variant of simple messages


class basic_mime_header : (string * string) list -> mime_header
An implementation of mime_header.
val basic_mime_header : (string * string) list -> mime_header
Same as function
class wrap_mime_header : #mime_header -> mime_header
Wraps the inner header
class wrap_mime_header_ro : #mime_header_ro -> mime_header
Wraps the inner header but disallows modifications.
val wrap_mime_header_ro : #mime_header_ro -> mime_header
Same as function
class memory_mime_body : string -> mime_body
An implementation of mime_body where the value is stored in-memory.
val memory_mime_body : string -> mime_body
Same as function
class file_mime_body : ?fin:bool -> string -> mime_body
An implementation of mime_body where the value is stored in an external file.
val file_mime_body : ?fin:bool -> string -> mime_body
Same as function
class wrap_mime_body : #mime_body -> mime_body
Wraps the inner body
class wrap_mime_body_ro : #mime_body_ro -> mime_body
Wraps the inner body but disallows modifications.
val wrap_mime_body_ro : #mime_body_ro -> mime_body
Same as function
val wrap_complex_mime_message_ro : complex_mime_message_ro -> complex_mime_message
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