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bug with flowed text and length=0 (and plain text email)

  • 5 replies
  • 1 has this problem
  • Last reply by mneme

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It looks to me like Thunderbird has a bug when you want to send plain text email that on sending and receipt flows itself to the width of the window.

To send flowed text that flows on the sending site, you set (in the config editor):

mailnews.wrap_long_lines=true (don't mess with my outgoing emails; just let them go as long as they need) mailnews.wraplength=0 (don't have a specific line length; just wrap to the window length) plain_text_wrap_long_lines=true (wrapping is great, particularly in the client) mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed=true (regardless of what I send, the recipient should be able to rewrap it so it flows comfortably in their screen) mailnews.display.disable_format_flowed_support=false (don't disable flowed text; I like flowed text).

On sending this works great; it flows to the border of the window and wraps, reflowing as you change text without needing to hit ctrl-r or anything (since all the wrapping is virtual).

However, when you send this way, your email will be sent as one long line, and on receipt, thunderbird will display it as one long line, not reflowing it at all.

On the other hand, if you tweak this by changing one line:

mailnews.wraplength=78 (or whatever, pick a length)

Then while composing it will stick stubbornly to 78 lines (or whatever). However, on reciept, because of format=flowed, it will reflow your message to your window size and look great.

Obviously this is a bug. By documentation, mailnews.wraplength=-1 should disable flowing at all; length=0 should send whatever it sends but reflow on client side, which it doesn't -- at least in thunderbird.

Is there a workaround (also, is this a live bug?)

This is from thunderbird 78.9.1 (32 bit).

All Replies (5)

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Bug reports are generally made in bugzilla.

But as none of the setting you mention are actually documented upside of the code, I would suggest you can not support an argument that it is not working according to the documentation. \ Looking though the forum and bugzilla this loots looks very much like which is linked to this bug where it is suggested the whole may be relying on mail.compose.wrap_to_window_width which was removed in this bug


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Not really?

As that talks about, the intended behavior (documented outside the code or not) is that with mailnews.wraplength = 0 wraps to the window (and format=flowed) it wraps to the window when writing and sends as it wants (normally wrapped to 72 but with flowed formatting so the receiving text can wrap it however it wants, but if the receiving side supports flowed it shouldn't matter).

The problem is that on sending, with wraplength=0 it doesn't send in a flowed compatable format (at least, not as far as Thunderird can tell. Instead it's one non-wrappable long line.

With wraplength=[a positive integer], it sends wrapped, and the recieving side can wrap it as they want and (if Thunderbird) do.

The bugs you cite are very different, talking about display issues when someone was relying on a now dead config.

And yeah, I was planning on submitting a bugzilla ticket if I couldn't find an existing one.


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I've added a bugzilla bug for this:


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I would suggest you try the beta version with a new profile as the send routines are being rewritten at the moment and what may or may not occur in the release version may not apply to the beta and hence next release.


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Ok, so I've tested with the beta.

In the beta, it sends the same way, but the reading pane can handle "one long line and also flowed text" much better; it flows a single long line the same way it would multiple shorter lines (as is correct, I assume). I've tested the same mail with the old (non-beta) thunderbird and it breaks the same way, but the new one can handle what it makes fine.

It would be -nice- to have a send that worked on old mailers (including old thunderbird builds, but also mail that doesn't handle flowed text; that's part of why flowed exists, so mail can be formatted to old (72 character line etc) standards and still look great on newer clients with wide panes. But being able to eat your own sausage is a good minimum.


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