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File: mimemail.txt
Role: Documentation
Content type: text/plain
Description: PHP MimeMail class documentation.
Class: Mime Mail
Generate RFC MIME email message headers and bodies
Author: By
Last change: New version 1.1 as of 2004-06-18.
Date: 2004-06-18 17:21
Size: 22,569 bytes
 

Contents

Class file image Download
*mimemail.txt* PHP MimeMail Class Documentation 1.1 - 2004-06-18

Author: Jhaura S. Wachsman <jhauraw at hotmail dot com>

Project Homepage: http://www.jhaura.com/?do=mimemail

Documentation best viewed in VIM with the included tags file. This will allow
keyword jumping and source file reference links to be highlighted and active.
For more information see the VIM User Manual section 01.1.

|01.1|  Class Overview
|02.1|  Installation and Setup
|03.1|  Core Output Methods: [hdrs2Str], [body2Str] and [all2Str]
|04.1|  Preparing Message Bodies
|04.2|  Generating a Plain Text Message
|04.3|  Generating an HTML Message
|04.4|  Generating a Multipart-Alternative MIME Message
|05.1|  Headers - The [add] and [attr] Methods
|05.2|  Adding Headers
|05.3|  Retrieving Header Values
|05.4|  Modifying Header Values
|05.5|  Deleting Headers
|05.6|  Formatting Headers Containing Email Addresses
|06.1|  Sending Mail via an MDA/MTA
|06.2|  Using PHP's mail() Function
|07.1|  Return-Path and Bounce Addresses
|08.1|  Printing Headers and Body as Single String [all2Str]
|09.1|  Comments and Bugs

==============================================================================
*01.1* Class Overview                                      *mimemail-overview*

Purpose: Generate RFC MIME compliant email message headers and bodies.

Description:

PHP class object designed to generate RFC MIME compliant email message headers
and bodies. Supports plain text, HTML and Multipart message formats. Outputs
RFC MIME compliant headers and bodies in string format with optional encoding.
Integrates with PHP's mail() function and MDA/MTAs like qmail and Sendmail to
perform message delivery.

Requirements: PHP (tested with version 4).

Sending a message involves passing the header and body strings (along with
other data such as email addresses) to PHPs mail() function, MDA/MTAs such as
Sendmail and qmail or direct delivery via SMTP using a PHP class or other
script. See Sending Mail via an MDA/MTA |06.1| for more information.

==============================================================================
*02.1* Installation and Setup                               *mimemail-install*

To install, simply include the MimeMail class source file at the top of
a PHP script:

  <?php
    include('mimemail.class.php');
  ?>

For purposes of this documentation, sample plain text and HTML messages have
been constructed.

A simple plain ascii text message body for example usage:

  <?php
    $textmsg = <<<END
      Hello World,

      Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!

      All the best,
      The Author
END;
  ?>

A simple HTML message body for example usage:

  <?php
    $htmlmsg = <<<END
      <html lang="en">
      <head>
      <title>PHP MimeMail Documentation</title>
      </head>
      <body>
      <b>Hello World</b>,
      <p>
      Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!
      </p>
      All the best,
      <br />
      The Author
      </body>
      </html>
END;
  ?>

==============================================================================
*03.1* Core Output Methods                                   *mimemail-output*

In most cases MimeMail output will be used as input into a delivery mechanism
such as PHP's mail() function or qmail. Generally speaking these mechanisms
receive input in two parts: headers first, then a message body. As such,
MimeMail returns string type output corresponding to these two parts for
direct input into these mechanisms.

The [hdrs2Str] method returns the current set of headers formatted to RFC
specifications in string format with each header separated by a newline
(including the final header, the trailing newline may need to be trimmed with
some mechanisms).

The [body2Str] method returns the current message body formatted in single or
multipart MIME format. If the body is multipart there will be two trailing
newlines after the final boundary delimiter which should not be removed per
RFC 2046 5.1.1.

The [all2Str] method returns the current message headers and body separated by
a single blank line. This method has no known implementation in a delivery
mechanism, but is provided for use when output is displayed directly to a
screen or file.

==============================================================================
*04.1* Preparing Message Bodies                                *mimemail-prep*

It is recommended that all text message bodies be hard-wrapped at 76-78
characters or less for backwards compatibility with console-type MUAs (RFC
2822 2.1.1 and RFC 2821 4.5.3.1). Currently wrapping must be done outside of
MimeMail using PHP's wordwrap() function or similar.

If the HTML body has lines longer than 998 characters it is recommended that
the quoted-printable encoding be used to avoid the very serious possibility of
truncation (ibid). MimeMail has a built-in quoted-printable encoding method
that is automatically called when a message part has the MIME
Content-Transfer-Encoding header type set to 'quoted-printable.' Because of
this it is not possible to pre-encode a message body using another
quoted-printable function. Future versions may provide a switch to turn off
automatic internal encoding.

==============================================================================
*04.2* Generating a Plain Text Message                      *mimemail-textmsg*

The simplest mime construct, this example demonstrates how to create a plain
text mime object using the simple text message (|02.1|):

A new object is created by calling the class constructor using plain text MIME
argument values. This example shows the common headers and values used in a
simple plain text message (strictly speaking, plain text email does not
require any MIME headers):

  <?php
    $tmime =& new MimeMail(array(
      'type'     => 'text/plain', # content-type header
      'data'     => $textmsg,     # plain text message body
      'charset'  => 'us-ascii',   # charset used in message body
      'encoding' => '7bit'));     # encoding of message body
  ?>

The the object now has all the basic input it needs. Next, the headers and
body can be retrieved for use in sending the email through an MDA/MTA
(|06.1|). The [hdrs2Str] and [body2Str] methods are used to output the
MimeMail formatted headers and body respectively:

  <?php
    echo $tmime->hdrs2Str(); # prints out the headers
    echo "\n";               # MTA/MDA usually adds this for you
    echo $tmime->body2Str(); # prints out the body
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Date: Fri,  7 May 2004 20:10:07 -0700 (PDT)
    Content-Type: text/plain;
        charset="us-ascii"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Content-Length: 91

    Hello World,

    Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!

    All the best,
    Jhaura

==============================================================================
*04.3* Generating an HTML Message                           *mimemail-htmlmsg*

To create an HTML MIME message follow the same steps as for the plain text
version, replacing text specific parameter values with HTML values:

  <?php
    $hmime =& new MimeMail(array(
      'type'     => 'text/html',          # HTML MIME type
      'data'     => $htmlmsg,             # HTML message body
      'charset'  => 'iso-8859-1',         # larger charset for HTML
      'encoding' => 'quoted-printable')); # keep lines short, encode in qp

    echo $hmime->hdrs2Str(); # prints out the headers
    echo "\n";               # MTA/MDA usually adds this
    echo $hmime->body2Str(); # prints out the body
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Date: Fri,  7 May 2004 20:10:07 -0700 (PDT)
    Content-Type: text/html;
        charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    Content-Length: 235

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>MIME Class 1.0 Documentation HTML Example</title>
    </head>
    <body>
    <b>Hello World</b>,
    <p>
    Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!
    </p>
    All the best,
    <br />
    Jhaura
    </body>
    </html>

==============================================================================
*04.4* Generating a Multipart-Alternative MIME Message     *mimemail-mpartmsg*

A multipart-alternative message is often used to send an HTML message with a
text backup to a recipient with unknown rendering capabilities. If the MUA of
the recipient is unable to render HTML, the next viable alternative is
displayed, in this case the text version.

To create this type of message the PHP MimeMail class separates the message
into 'parts.' Each part is created separately using class methods as the user
works through each step.

The first part will always be the 'top part,' an object reference containing
the general MIME/SMTP headers and a boundary delimiter which separates and
orders the 'message parts.' The top part object is created by calling the
constructor with the 'type' parameter set to a multipart type (other headers
may also be added, but the type parameter is required):

  <?php
    $mmime =& new MimeMail(array('type' => 'multipart/alternative'));
  ?>

After creating the top part, individual 'message parts' may be added. A
message part refers to either the text, HTML or other version of the message
which will be packaged together into one multipart message. Message parts
should be added in order from least complex to most complex, i.e., text first
then HTML per the MIME RFCs.

Individual message parts are created using the [part] method. The [part]
method creates a reference to a modifiable object each time it is called
(essentially a new MimeMail object within the top part object). As such the
part method is always called from the top part object reference ($mmime in
this case). Users of PHP 4x or lower will need to add the assign by reference
ampersand when creating parts so that each part object is modifiable.

Create the text part using the same procedure as for a simple text message
(|04.2|), except call the [part] method from within the top part object:

  <?php
    $tpart =& $mmime->part(array(
      'type'     => 'text/plain',
      'data'     => $textmsg,
      'charset'  => 'us-ascii',
      'encoding' => '7bit'));
  ?>

Create the html part using the HTML message body:

  <?php
    $hpart =& $mmime->part(array(
      'type'     => 'text/html',
      'data'     => $htmlmsg,
      'charset'  => 'iso-8859-1',
      'encoding' => 'quoted-printable'));

    echo $mmime->hdrs2Str();
    echo "\n";
    echo $mmime->body2Str();
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Date: Fri,  7 May 2004 20:10:07 -0700 (PDT)
    Content-Type: multipart/alternative;
        boundary="_----=_Part_278ec89a148a9ff6fd2faf2e9798d0db_"

    This is a multi-part message in MIME format.

    --_----=_Part_278ec89a148a9ff6fd2faf2e9798d0db_
    Content-Type: text/plain;
        charset="us-ascii"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Content-Length: 91

    Hello World,

    Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!

    All the best,
    Jhaura
    --_----=_Part_278ec89a148a9ff6fd2faf2e9798d0db_
    Content-Type: text/html;
        charset="iso-8859-1"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    Content-Length: 235

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>MIME Class 1.0 Documentation HTML Example</title>
    </head>

    <body>
    <b>Hello World</b>,
    <p>
    Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!
    </p>
    All the best,
    <br />
    Jhaura
    </body>
    </html>
    --_----=_Part_278ec89a148a9ff6fd2faf2e9798d0db_--

==============================================================================
*05.1* Headers - The [add] and [attr] Methods                  *mimemail-hdrs*

The powerful [add] and [attr] methods allow users to add, modify, delete and
retrieve the current value for any existing header. As the example will show,
this applies to headers set by the user or the class itself.

The [add] method is for use with non-MIME headers such as From: and Subject:
while the [attr] method is for use with the MIME Content-* headers. Each
method expects a header name (case-insensitive) and a header value as input.

:TRICKY: The complete real header name must be entered when using the [add] or
[attr] methods, such as 'content-transfer-encoding,' not just 'encoding.'

:SPECIAL: The [add] and [attr] methods only modify headers set in the object
reference used to call them. When working with multipart messages, special
care must be taken to distinguish which object reference contains the header/s
to be modified. For example, in the Multipart example (|04.4|) three message
parts were created: top, text and html. Each part was assigned an object
reference: $mmime, $tpart and $hpart respectively. Calling the header methods
from one of these references only modifies the headers for that part.

==============================================================================
*05.2* Adding Headers                                       *mimemail-addhdrs*

Many useful headers that are optional for SMTP and MIME can be easily added
using the [add] and [attr] methods. Here, the four core headers normally used
in personal email are pushed into the $tmime object (|02.1|).

Notice the use of the [format] method in the To: header. This helper method
formats a person's name and email address into the proper format of "Joe
Recipient" <joe@dev.null> (see Formatting Headers |05.6|):

  <?php
    $tmime->add('from', 'me@dev.null');
    $tmime->add('reply-to', 'me@dev.null');
    $tmime->add('subject', 'MimeMail class message subject.');
    $tmime->add('to', $tmime->format('joe@dev.null','Joe Recipient'));
  ?>

Reprinting the headers shows the newly added headers along with the
previously existing headers:

  <?php
    echo $tmime->hdrs2Str();
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Date: Fri,  7 May 2004 20:10:07 -0700 (PDT)
    From: me@dev.null
    Reply-To: me@dev.null
    Subject: MimeMail class message subject.
    To: "Joe Recipient" <joe@dev.null>
    Content-Type: text/plain;
        charset="us-ascii"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
    Content-Length: 91

==============================================================================
*05.3* Retrieving Header Values                             *mimemail-gethdrs*

Calling the [add] or [attr] methods with only the first argument set returns
the current value of the header.

In this example the top part's date header value and the content-types of the
two message parts are retrieved (using the Multipart example |04.4|):

  <?php
    $topdate  = $mmime->add('date');            # top part date
    $texttype = $tpart->attr('content-type'); # text message part c-type
    $htmltype = $hpart->attr('content-type'); # html message part c-type

    echo "Top Date : $topdate\n";
    echo "Text Type: $texttype\n";
    echo "HTML Type: $htmltype";
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    Top Date : Fri,  7 May 2004 20:10:07 -0700 (PDT)
    Text Type: text/plain
    HTML Type: text/html

==============================================================================
*05.4* Modifying Header Values                              *mimemail-modhdrs*

To change or modify an existing header, simply call the [add] or [attr]
methods with both arguments set. Both methods work by first deleting the
current value before reseting it:

  <?php
    $hmime->add('from', 'you@dev.null');              # change from header
    $hmime->attr('content-type.charset', 'us-ascii'); # change charset

    # Change encoding in the HTML part by calling with $hpart
    $hpart->attr('content-transfer-encoding', '8bit');

    echo 'From    : ' . $hmime->add('from') . "\n";
    echo 'Charset : ' . $hmime->attr('content-type.charset') . "\n";
    echo 'Encoding: ' . $hpart->attr('content-transfer-encoding');
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    From    : you@dev.null
    Charset : us-ascii
    Encoding: 8bit

==============================================================================
*05.5* Deleting Headers                                     *mimemail-delhdrs*

To delete a header call the [add] or [attr] methods with the second argument
set to an empty string ''. Setting it to anything else will change or retrieve
the header value:

  <?php
    $tmime->add('reply-to', '');        # delete reply-to header
    $tmime->attr('content-length', ''); # delete content-length header

    # Delete encoding in Text part by calling with $tpart
    $tpart->attr('content-transfer-encoding', '');

    echo 'Reply-To: ' . $tmime->add('reply-to') . "\n";
    echo 'Length  : ' . $tmime->attr('content-length') . "\n";
    echo 'Encoding: ' . $tpart->attr('content-transfer-encoding');
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    Reply-To:
    Length  :
    Encoding:

==============================================================================
*05.6* Formatting Headers Containing Email Addresses        *mimemail-fmthdrs*

The [format] method is a helper function for use in formatting the common
name/email pair used in the To:, Cc:, Bcc:, From: and Reply-To: headers. If
the comment argument is empty, only the email address will be returned
unformatted.

  <?php
    echo $tmime->format('joe@dev.null','Joe Recipient');
    echo "\n";
    echo $tmime->format('joe@dev.null','');
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    "Joe Recipient" <joe@dev.null>
    joe@dev.null

==============================================================================
*06.1* Sending Mail via an MDA/MTA                             *mimemail-send*

The MimeMail class focuses on generating RFC compliant message headers and
bodies, as such an MDA/MTA is needed for message delivery. Common options are
PHP's mail() function and pipes to Sendmail or qmail.

:WARNING: <CRLF> (\n, \r\n, \r) Issue. Terrible display issues will result at
the recipient end if the proper <CRLF> sequence is not set in the message
(both headers and body). RFC 2821 2.3.7 and 2822 2.1 state that a <CRLF>
consists of two characters - ASCII 13 immediately followed by ASCII 10. In
escape sequence style this would be \r\n. For proper display and MIME
compliance, all parts of a message (headers and body) must have normalized
<CRLF>s *after* passing through the MDA/MTA of choice. Many MDA/MTAs will
modify a message when passed through, so a post-check is necessary on the
final output.

Depending on the message composition platform *and* the MDA/MTA, the message
could have a mix of <CRLF> styles (\n for *nix, \r for Mac and \r\n for PC).
Check the PHP online manual mail() function comments for horror stories and
solutions. The author recommendation is to normalize <CRLF>s based on the
originating platform prior to passing to an MDA/MTA. For example, if a *nix
platform is used is normalize all <CRLF>s to \n. Depending of the MDA/MTA
these will be converted to RFC <CRLF> when passed through, however, this
cannot be guaranteed, so test, test and...

==============================================================================
*06.2* Using PHP's mail() Function                          *mimemail-phpsend*

The easiest way to deliver a newly created MimeMail message is via PHP's
mail() function. Using the core MimeMail output methods [hdrs2Str] and
[body2Str] the two key arguments (headers and body strings) used in the mail()
function are easily created. All that is left is to set the message recipient
and subject.

For this example the HTML Message object ($hmime, |04.3|) will be used:

  <?php
    # Setup variables with desired values.
    $to      = 'sue@dev.null';     # our friend Sue, the recipient
    $subject = 'Hello Sue!';       # subject
    $message = $hmime->body2Str(); # output message body to string
    $headers = $hmime->hdrs2Str(); # output message headers to string

    # Input into PHP's mail() function.
    $res = mail($to, $subject, $message, $headers); # send mail

    # Verify mail was sent.
    echo ($res) ? 'Mail Sent!' : 'Mail Error!';
  ?>

==============================================================================
*07.1* Return-Path and Bounce Addresses                      *mimemail-bounce*

When working with mailing lists or scripted mailings it is a good idea to
specify an email address where errors will be sent for cases when the message
can't be delivered. The following three headers (in order of importance) do
the trick with most SMTP systems.

Note: Many MDA/MTAs add these for you. Setting these headers at this point
will override that feature.

The placeholder 'bounce-addr' should be replaced with an appropriate bounce
address in VERP or other format. A simple email address such as the From:
address can also be used, in which case the sender will receive any error
mail:

  <?php
    $tmime->add('return-path', 'bounce-addr');
    $tmime->add('errors-to', 'bounce-addr');
    $tmime->add('bounces-to', 'bounce-addr');

    echo $tmime->hdrs2Str();
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 12:19:46 -0700 (PDT)
    From: me@dev.null
    Subject: MIME class message subject.
    To: "Joe Recipient" <joe@dev.null>
    Return-Path: bounce-addr
    Errors-To: bounce-addr
    Bounces-To: bounce-addr
    Content-Type: text/plain;
       charset="us-ascii"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

==============================================================================
*08.1* Printing Headers and Body as a Single String         *mimemail-all2str*

The [all2Str] method can be used when the entire message needs to be returned
as a single string. The example shown here uses the HTML Message version
(|04.3|):

  <?php
    echo $hmime->all2Str();
  ?>

The above code outputs:

    MIME-Version: 1.0
    Date: Wed, 19 May 2004 12:19:46 -0700 (PDT)
    From: you@dev.null
    Content-Type: text/html;
       charset="us-ascii"
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
    Content-Length: 214

    <html>
    <head>
    <title>MIME Class 1.0 Documentation HTML Example</title>
    </head>
    <body>
    <b>Hello World</b>,
    <p>
    Messages created with MimeMail are RFC compliant!
    </p>
    All the best,
    <br />
    Jhaura
    </body>
    </html>

==============================================================================
*09.1* Comments and Bugs                                       *mimemail-bugs*

Feedback is appreciated and should be sent to the author listed at the
beginning of this file. Implementation and usage scenarios are also welcomed.

TODO add documentation for attaching files.

EOF vim:tw=78:ts=2:ft=help:norl:isk=!-~,^*,^|,^":