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Date:      Mon, 15 Jun 2020 10:46:20 +0100
From:      "Norman Gray" <norman.gray@glasgow.ac.uk>
To:        Kurt Hackenberg <kh@panix.com>
Cc:        <freebsd-questions@freebsd.org>
Subject:   Re: Flowed text
Message-ID:  <BF15CC86-FADF-40DB-ACD9-36B27E5140C8@glasgow.ac.uk>
In-Reply-To: <e80e54d0-ec7b-2ebf-9778-6420431cd65b@panix.com>
References:  <00225a04-237d-9051-9aea-12c192106a20@anatoli.ws> <373EDB20-C750-42E2-A41B-EA61F6E49807@kicp.uchicago.edu> <20200609120136.00005b3c@seibercom.net> <2393a1e0-b073-950a-78be-9f57d8e9934b@anatoli.ws> <e1f6623a-3b3c-a43e-446a-d41f20f69418@kicp.uchicago.edu> <20200610063555.00003707@seibercom.net> <82F57D0D-E0EC-49F7-824E-20A296C9F549@kicp.uchicago.edu> <250b853a-b436-0e99-b05c-9abd6b6019ef@panix.com> <alpine.BSF.2.20.2006101345220.97143@fledge.watson.org> <7018FA7A-32A6-4567-AA5D-1A90FF5FFF6C@kreme.com> <20200613154409.GA89618@neutralgood.org> <082AF774-7886-4E56-8482-768A7FE6E5EF@kreme.com> <CAGBxaXm4NLfCcA0jGzEvM4hCGoF_7L0y_Yd_X9kEEGHGL+s1oA@mail.gmail.com> <20200614100602.7f5c8092@archlinux> <e80e54d0-ec7b-2ebf-9778-6420431cd65b@panix.com>

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Greetings,

On 14 Jun 2020, at 23:45, Kurt Hackenberg wrote:

> Or a message could contain information about whether lines should be 
> filled and word-wrapped. Like this message you're reading, for 
> example. It's text/plain format=flowed (RFC 3676).

A (tangential) problem is that not only is this MIME parameter only 
incompletely supported in mail clients (as Kurt notes), but the 
parameter might not survive going through an MTA.

The email client I use does set format=flowed on outgoing text/plain 
emails, but when I cc myself, that comes back to me via an Exchange 
server, which (at some point in the message's labyrinthine passage 
through the server) strips or replaces the content-type header, losing 
the format=flowed.  This seems straightforwardly an error, but when I 
reported it to local mail admins, they were sympathetic, but also 
realistic about how far down their priority list fixing it, or reporting 
it upstream, would be.

They found an interesting blog-post by a webmail provider on the topic: 
<https://fastmail.blog/2016/12/17/format-flowed/>, which I think sums up 
the situation rather well.

The situation is disappointing, but I find it hard to work up much real 
outrage at it.

Best wishes,

Norman


-- 
Norman Gray  :  http://www.astro.gla.ac.uk/users/norman/it/
Research IT Coordinator
SUPA School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Glasgow, UK
Charity number SC004401



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