The mimeReader data type parses messages, and is the first type encountered when using the API. It is created by opening a file or string containing a message, or by "opening" a mimeEntity object (since MIME messages can recurse). A mimeReader object parses the MIME message as a stream, internally maintaining a current-entity cursor, and there are functions to iterate over all the entities in a message.

Since a mimeReader object usually has a current entity it points to in the message, the mimeEntity access functions for obtaining headers, body etc. also work on mimeReader objects as a convenience, to avoid having to first get a mimeEntity object from the reader.

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