[Mailman-Users] Digest E-Mails with umlauts

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Thu Mar 24 20:22:29 CET 2011

On 3/23/2011 4:44 PM, Kyle Pinkley wrote:
> Greetings,
> I am using Mailman 2.1.14.   It seems that when I send an E-Mail with
> digest mode on containing umlauts (ä, ü, and ö) it's sending the
> E-Mail with ?, ? and ? instead.   If I turn off digest mode and send
> the E-Mail the E-Mail contains the umlauts.    Is this a known issue
> that warrants a bug report?   Is there any workarounds?

This is well known. It is not a bug. The list's language is English
(USA) and Mailman's character set for that language is us-ascii. The
plain format digest is flattened into a single text/plain part in the
character set of the list language.

There are a few ways around this.

Subscribe to the MIME format digest instead of the plain digest. This
digest puts each message into it's own MIME part and there is no need to
convert text to a different character set, or

If appropriate, set the list's language to one whose character set
includes the characters you want, e.g. German whose character set in
Mailman is iso-8859-1, but this will affect masthead of the digest and
the language of the web interface so may not be appropriate, or

Set Mailman's character set for English (USA) to iso-8859-1 or utf-8.
This works because those are both supersets of us-ascii so ascii
messages and templates will still work without recoding. To do this, put

add_language('en', 'English (USA)', 'utf-8', 'ltr')


add_language('en', 'English (USA)', 'iso-8859-1', 'ltr')

in mm_cfg.py

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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