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Re: Wrapping long lines (Was Re: FAQ update suggestion for "I'm having basic problems with find. Why?")

I have been doing some reading today, and have come across RFC3676 (which supersedes RFC2646) which describes format=flowed.

A bit of a revelation.

format=flowed wasn't what I thought it might be, but it turned out to be much better.

It doesn't look that complicated but it's actually a brilliant piece of e-mail engineering.

format=flowed would appear to solve all the issues mentioned in the thread earlier this year.

Messages using format=flowed will look just like like 80-column mail to all the old curmudgeons.

However when viewed in a reader which understands format=flowed, paragraphs will be re-flowed to the width of the reader's window.

Message quoting, using ">" is handled beautifully, with even quoted messages being able to be perfectly re-flowed to the reader's window size.

And the best part:

The Cygwin mailing list web archiving system already supports it.

Any message using format=flowed will be emitted beautifully by the web archiving system, resulting in lovely flowed paragraphs, including quoted messages which will be flowed and presented with quote-bars.

For an example of how format=flowed works with a quoted message, look at one of Andrew DeFaria's messages:

Andrew appears to have been using Thunderbird 0.7.2.

I was using Microsoft Outlook Express, which does not support format=flowed.

I am now using Thunderbird 1.0, which does support format=flowed.

So *this* message should come out nicely for everyone, both in e-mail and in the archive, *and* with no extra effort required on my part.


William Blunn <bill at>
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