UTF-8 in mail

Derek Broughton news at pointerstop.ca
Thu Apr 13 00:13:24 UTC 2006

Gary W. Swearingen wrote:

> Derek Broughton <news at pointerstop.ca> writes:
>> Gary W. Swearingen wrote:
>>> (In standard non-MIMI ASCII mail, readers are not suppose to have to
>>> wrap lines, but MSFT users too often send hugely long lines.)
>> MSFT?  It's an RFC - "text/plain; format=flowed".  Readers _don't_ have
>> to wrap lines, but most modern mail programs wrap before sending -
>> including Microsoft's.
> Yes, MSFT, 

I was asking you to explain MSFT.  You're the only person I've ever seen use
this acronym, which makes it somewhat less than useful.

> based on what I've seen when lines go off the right edge. 
> But I'll admit the problem is getting less frequent; maybe my

It should be.  The problem, as I see it, is that Microsoft's (and probably
others) mail programs used to just happily write mail messages with
limitless line lengths.  Not only could you write lines longer than other
programs could comfortably handle, but you could even write lines longer
than the RFCs would permit.  All the current MS & Apple programs now
do "format-flowed", which means that you should get reasonable line lengths
even in primitive MUAs.

> gnus/xemacs is reflowing some MIME messages now.  I see several
> messages here use "flowed", which I don't recall seeing before,
> outside the IETF draft.
> But more importantly, I said (with a typo :) "non-MIME", in which
> "format=flowed" is either missing or ignored.

The point of flow format is that it shouldn't matter about the MIME
capability of the client.  The sender puts in soft line breaks (basically a
space followed by CRLF), and an MUA that understands it then wraps lines
that end with a space.  Non-capable MUAs just treat it as straight text,
and the reader doesn't see that some lines end with a space.

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