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text/plain wordwrap, format=flowed and quoted-printable

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Thunderbird
alberto.orlandini
 
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Post Posted July 10th, 2006, 2:28 pm

I noticed a problem with Thunderbird 1.5 when composing emails in text/plain.

I know in some other agents like Outlook Express it is possible to force the agent to use quoted-printable as Content-Transfer-Encoding, even when the message has just 7bit ascii characters.

When using quoted-printable:
- sending wordwrap is fixed, and long lines become a group of lines with '=' at the end of each line.
- display wordwrap on the sender pc is email-independent and depends just on the size of the composing window of the sender.
- display wordwrap on the addressee pc is email-independent and depends just on the size of the viewing window of the addressee.

Yet, when the mail has just 7bit ascii characters, Thunderbird does not let you choose to send with quoted-printable, but uses the following:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset=[...]; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

The inconvenient is that:

- display wordwrap on the addressee pc is email-independent and depends just on the size of the viewing window of the addressee ONLY IF the agent of the addressee supports format=flowed.
- if the agent does not support format=flowed - like Outlook Express or Evolution - the display wordwrap on the addressee pc coincides with the sending wordwrap, so it is email-dependent, and does not fit to the size of the viewing window of the addressee.

A possible solution is to allow the user to FORCE Thunderbird to ALWAYS use quoted-printable, even when the message has just 7bit ascii characters, so that long lines become a group of lines with '=' at the end of each line.

alberto.orlandini
 
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Joined: July 10th, 2006, 2:01 pm

Post Posted July 11th, 2006, 10:10 am

Btw, I also noticed that even when there are non-standard alphanumerical characters (like à è ì ò ù) and Thunderbird uses quoted-printable, yet:
- if the property mailnews.wraplength is set less than 74 (the standard quoted-printable wrap) each line ends with '=20' (that means new line)
- else it has a '=' to merge the line with the following line, and then, after mailnews.wraplength characters, ends with '=20'.
so also with quoted printable uses format=flowed, but if the adressee's agent does not support format=flowed (like Outlook Express or Evolution) the display wordwrap does not fit with the viewing window size.

So the solution is to allow the user to force Thunderbird use ALWAYS quoted-printable without putting the '=20' after each mailnews.wraplength characters, and using just '=', so that format=flowed is not needed.

Please tell me if you see other solutions which do not require an intervent on source code by the developers...

_Peter_
 
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Location: Berlin / Germany

Post Posted July 12th, 2006, 3:59 am

Outlook Express supports format=flowed with XP SP2. Outlook doesn't (don't know about Outlook 2007)

Peter

alberto.orlandini
 
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Joined: July 10th, 2006, 2:01 pm

Post Posted July 12th, 2006, 4:39 am

Ok... Anyway other agents like Evolution do not support it. And I suppose most addressees are Windows-users with a version of Outlook which does not support it. So I think that Thunderbird developers should consider to allow the users to force the use of quoted-printable to cater the lack of support of format=flowed in the agents of the adressees.

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted July 12th, 2006, 5:34 am

howdy alberto,

what happens if you use the prefs to disable f=f?
http://kb.mozillazine.org/Plain_text_e- ... t.3Dflowed

take care,
lee

alberto.orlandini
 
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Joined: July 10th, 2006, 2:01 pm

Post Posted July 13th, 2006, 5:39 am

Worse than before. If I disable support for format=flowed in Thunderbird the wordwrap won't fit the viewing window size at all, even if my addressee or my sender has support for format=flowed...

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted July 13th, 2006, 7:08 am

howdy alberto,

i don't seem to be having any problems. [*grin*] tho i suppose i otta knock on wood ...

you might want to do a bit of searching in bugzilla to see if there are any bugs filed on the problem. i did a quick look-see and found a number of f=f related problems but none that seem to fit yours.

take care,
lee

alberto.orlandini
 
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Joined: July 10th, 2006, 2:01 pm

Post Posted July 13th, 2006, 9:43 am

I have no problem when sending from Thunderbird to Thunderbird, or anyway from Thunderbird to some other agent supporting format=flowed, or from some other agent supporting format=flowed to Thunderbird. The issue is a compatibility problem with other obsolete agents which have no support for format=flowed.

Anyway I've posted the link to here in bugzilla as an enhancement/request for new feature:

https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=344546

Lee_Dailey

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Post Posted July 13th, 2006, 10:59 am

howdy alberto,

if you want that bug/rfe [request for enhancement] to get any real attention you will need to do a few things. [*grin*]

- more meaningful summary/title instead of "text/plain wordwrap, format=flowed and quoted-printable"
- meaningful detail in the actual bug including steps to reproduce and examples of the problem
- _exact_ tbird version

right now, the item is so generic that it's not at all useful and one can't even determine just what problem exists from the title.

picky, aint i? [*grin*]

take care,
lee

guanxi
 
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Joined: April 6th, 2003, 11:15 am

Post Posted July 15th, 2006, 2:11 pm

alberto,

There are many things broken about plain text in Thunderbird. For example, try using tabs, especially at the beginning of lines, and see what happens.

I think we need a someone with time and motivation (or money) to fix them ...

dtobias
 
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Post Posted July 16th, 2006, 2:30 pm

There are some standards-based reasons why the use of quoted-printable to get infinitely-long "logical lines" that are then expected to be rewrapped at the other end is a bad idea. Under RFC 2822, mail messages are supposed to stick to hard-broken lines at under 80 characters in order to be displayable in all situations, including text-mode terminals that don't automatically wrap long lines. The format=flowed option is a new method of doing rewrappable text in a standards-compliant way.

In some mail readers, and in web-based archives of some mailing lists, doing text the way you suggest causes lines to run endlessly off to the right instead of breaking.

http://mailformat.dan.info/body/linelength.html
Dan's Web Tips: http://webtips.dan.info/
Dan's Domain Site: http://domains.dan.info/
Dan's Mail Format Site: http://mailformat.dan.info/

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