Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller
hns at goldelico.com
Sat Aug 14 15:41:06 CEST 2010
Am 14.08.2010 um 10:14 schrieb rixed at happyleptic.org:
> Please people stop spamming about line length.
> If you MUA is so good then ask it to automatically split long lines :-p
I agree that we should not spam - but IMHO this was raised as a serious
I could live with the idea that everyone uses a MUA that can
wrap lines when reading and displaying long lines. But it appears there
are systems out there that can't (which I did not yet know).
And I am asked to solve their display problem on the senders side (although
I have much better things to do)...
Am 14.08.2010 um 09:28 schrieb Matthias Apitz:
> El día Saturday, August 14, 2010 a las 08:34:51AM +0200, Dr. H. Nikolaus Schaller escribió:
>>> Nikolaus, couldn't you wrap your lines to something more standard (72 or
>>> so ?) Thanks, I like reading your prose, but those long lines are really
>> Hi Steve,
>> there are different opinions if the 80 char line wrapping of mail is standard or some
>> old-fashioned relict from the 80ies. I have tried to find out what it is but it appears
>> to be a problem with some MUAs not correctly handling RFC 2646.
>> Here is also some discussion about mailman being responsible or not:
> Hi Nikolaus,
> It is the responsibility of your MailUserAgent to wrap lines correctly
> around column 72. You are using Apple Mail (2.1081). If this can not do
> this, just use another MUA or another system providing correct software.
Before we start fingerpointing on any client we are using, let's do a little more research.
quotes RFC 2822 (the successor to RFC 822):
"There are two limits that this standard places on the number of characters in a line. Each line of characters MUST be no more than 998 characters, and SHOULD be no more than 78 characters, excluding the CRLF."
I.e. lines more than 78 characters are *not* forbidden. From this I conclude
that a mail recipient must cope with that. If not, the client is broken.
And, I conclude that it is not a rule for writing or displaying mails - just
for transferring them over SMTP without making buffer overflows.
Now let's look into the plain code my MUA is sending. Here is an example:
> Hi Steve,
> there are different opinions if the 80 char line wrapping of mail is standa=
> rd or some
> old-fashioned relict from the 80ies. I have tried to find out what it is bu=
> t it appears
> to be a problem with some MUAs not correctly handling RFC 2646.
> Here is also some discussion about mailman being responsible or not:
So Apple Mail *is* correclty sending wrapped lines according to RFC.
I do not excactly know what the rules are to interpret the = signs at the
end of the line. I guess it has to do with
Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v1081)
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
A little more search shows this comes from RFC 2045 (MIME) on page 19 (Soft Line Breaks).
From this I conclude that the mails my client sends are correct (according
to the standard).
So it appears to me that we are trying to treat a corectly implemented
feature as a bug because there is some habit of expecting that lines
are always *displayed* with wrapping (even if they are sent as non-wrapped
lines using MIME quoted-printable). But I may be missing something.
If somebody can point me to the RFC that *requires* that lines must
be *visibly* wrapped by the sender so that no client ever shows
long lines, I am happy to file a bug report for Apple Mail (wouldn't
be the first one :).
If there is no such RFC, please report bugs for your clients that
don't wrap long (MIME encoded) lines they receive to the width of
the display window.
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