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

William Blunn bill--cygwin@tao-group.com
Fri Dec 10 18:15:00 GMT 2004

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 tao-group.com>
Tao, 62/63 Suttons Business Park, Earley, Reading, RG6 1AZ, UK
Tel: +44 845 644 4458, Fax: +44 845 644 4459, Web: http://tao-group.com/

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