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The Base64 encoding is designed to represent arbitrary sequences of octets in a form that need not be humanly readable. A 65-character subset ([A-Za-z0-9+/=]) of US-ASCII is used, enabling 6 bits to be represented per printable character.
The quoted-printable encoding is intended to represent data that largely consists of bytes that correspond to printable characters in the ASCII character set. Non-printable characters are represented by a triplet consisting of the character "=" followed by two hexadecimal digits.
The MIME::Base64 and MIME::QuotedPrint modules used to be part of libwww-perl package. They are now distributed separately (as this package). The main improvement is that the base64 encoder/decoder is implemented by XS functions. This makes it about 20 times faster than the old implementation as pure Perl.