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Python in a Nutshell by Alex Martelli

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MIME and Email Format Handling

Python supplies the email package to handle parsing, generation, and manipulation of MIME files such as email messages, network news posts, and so on. The Python standard library also contains other modules that handle some parts of these jobs. However, the new email package offers a more complete and systematic approach to these important tasks. I therefore suggest you use package email, not the older modules that partially overlap with parts of email’s functionality. Package email has nothing to do with receiving or sending email; for such tasks, see modules poplib and smtplib, covered in Chapter 18. Instead, package email deals with how you handle messages after you receive them or before you send them.

Functions in Package email

Package email supplies two factory functions returning an instance m of class email.Message.Message. These functions rely on class email.Parser.Parser, but the factory functions are handier and simpler. Therefore, I do not cover module Parser further in this book.

The email.Message Module

The email.Message module supplies class Message. All parts of package email produce, modify, or use instances of class Message. An instance m of Message models a MIME message, including headers and a payload (data content). You can create m, initially empty, by calling class Message, which accepts no arguments. More often, you create m by parsing via functions message_from_string and message_from_file of module email, or by other ...

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