12.2 email -- An email and MIME handling package

New in version 2.2.

The email package is a library for managing email messages, including MIME and other RFC 2822-based message documents. It subsumes most of the functionality in several older standard modules such as rfc822, mimetools, multifile, and other non-standard packages such as mimecntl. It is specifically not designed to do any sending of email messages to SMTP (RFC 2821) servers; that is the function of the smtplib module12.1.

The primary distinguishing feature of the email package is that it splits the parsing and generating of email messages from the internal object model representation of email. Applications using the email package deal primarily with objects; you can add sub-objects to messages, remove sub-objects from messages, completely re-arrange the contents, etc. There is a separate parser and a separate generator which handles the transformation from flat text to the object model, and then back to flat text again. There are also handy subclasses for some common MIME object types, and a few miscellaneous utilities that help with such common tasks as extracting and parsing message field values, creating RFC-compliant dates, etc.

The following sections describe the functionality of the email package. The ordering follows a progression that should be common in applications: an email message is read as flat text from a file or other source, the text is parsed to produce an object model representation of the email message, this model is manipulated, and finally the model is rendered back into flat text.

It is perfectly feasible to create the object model out of whole cloth -- i.e. completely from scratch. From there, a similar progression can be taken as above.

Also included are detailed specifications of all the classes and modules that the email package provides, the exception classes you might encounter while using the email package, some auxiliary utilities, and a few examples. For users of the older mimelib package, from which the email package is descended, a section on differences and porting is provided.

See Also:

Module smtplib:
SMTP protocol client.


... module12.1
For this reason, line endings in the email package are always native line endings. The smtplib module is responsible for converting from native line endings to RFC 2821 line endings, just as your mail server would be responsible for converting from RFC 2821 line endings to native line endings when it stores messages in a local mailbox.

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