[ mailman-Bugs-1495122 ] Mailman strips format=flowed from Content-Type header

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Fri Oct 13 20:23:35 CEST 2006

Bugs item #1495122, was opened at 2006-05-25 12:24
Message generated for change (Comment added) made by msapiro
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Category: mail delivery
Group: 2.1 (stable)
Status: Open
Resolution: None
Priority: 5
Submitted By: Bart Jacobs (radiantskies)
Assigned to: Nobody/Anonymous (nobody)
Summary: Mailman strips format=flowed from Content-Type header

Initial Comment:
It seems that Mailman strips the format=flowed 
argument from the Content-Type: text/plain header 
when delivering incoming e-mails to subscribers.


>Comment By: Mark Sapiro (msapiro)
Date: 2006-10-13 11:23

Logged In: YES 

Regarding the previous comment. I don't disagee with you,
and my 2006-06-13 comment wasn't meant to imply that I
wasn't interested in fixing this, just that there might be
more to it than is apparent at first glance. I do have it on
my 'to do' list.


Comment By: P T Withington (ptwithy)
Date: 2006-10-13 10:05

Logged In: YES 

Man this bug drives me NUTS!  Surely it is more important to maintain the 
content of the message that to quibble about the format on header/footer.  
Any halfway intelligent mail client will wrap long URLs, expecting them to be 
reflowed by the recipient, but since mailman strips out the format and delsp 
from the Content-type, the recipient is left in the lurch and sees the URL as 
multiple lines.

In format-flowed, only lines that end in <space><linefeed> are re-flowed.  If 
the header/footer lines end in <linefeed> they will not be reflowed, so I don't 
see the need to have a different format for them?

What am I missing?


Comment By: Mark Sapiro (msapiro)
Date: 2006-06-13 09:34

Logged In: YES 

I think you have found the cause. Scrubber also does the
same thing when flattening the message, but now we have a
difficult decision.

If we want to 'fix' Decorate, we now are faced with a
situation where we may be adding a 'format=fixed' header
and/or footer to a 'format=flowed' message body. This
potential incompatability may require us to 'wrap' the
message and add the header/footer as separate parts in this
case. This will undoubtedly raise additional complaints.

In the case of Scrubber, this may lead us to scrub the
actual message body part - not a good thing.

I may be over-reacting here. It may turn out that it is OK
to render the header/footer/scrubber messages as
'format=flowed'. Although I can contrive a footer for
example (by putting trailing spaces on intermediate lines)
that will be munged by rendering as 'format=flowed', this
may not be a problem in practice, and Decorate could always
be made to strip the spaces.

There are also potentially issues with stripping of leading
spaces because of the assumption that they are 'stuffed'. I
don't know how big an issue this is in practice.

Note, if we do preserve 'format=' we also need to preserve


Comment By: Bart Jacobs (radiantskies)
Date: 2006-06-12 23:54

Logged In: YES 

I've browsed the mailman source code a bit and I found 
some suspicious code 
in /trunk/mailman/Mailman/Handlers/Decorate.py. If the 
list admin specifies a header or footer to be added to 
outgoing messages, then the content-type header is zapped 
and then regenerated from just the charset info, i.e. the 
format=flowed parameter is lost.


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