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Re: [Nmh-workers] 78 column limit

From: Ralph Corderoy
Subject: Re: [Nmh-workers] 78 column limit
Date: Wed, 05 Dec 2012 17:05:39 +0000

Hi Norm,

> That's disconcerting. For more than a decade now, the default for my
> editor was for no line wrapping. I inserted new lines to generate my
> own formatting. But some recipients complained that my Emails are
> "jagged". This was caused by their Email client inserting its own line
> endings.

Are you sure that's the cause?  You "inserted new lines" how?  With
fmt(1) or similar, or manually?  If you're using a fixed-width font and
they're reading it proportionally then two lines of 72 characters may
look different lengths to them.  Add on any variance because you're
splitting lines and not fmt(1) or vim, e.g. gqap, and that may be

> So I gave up trying to control the format in which recipients see my
> Email.  Just last week, I wrote the code to make line wrapping be the
> default whenever I'm editing a file in my drafts folder whose name is
> all digits.

By that you mean each paragraph is one long line logically but the
editor breaks it at a decent point, e.g. end of word, to make it easier
to view?  If so, you need to be careful of the 998 limit that Ken's
pointed out;  sendmail for one, IIRC, is an MTA that will break
over-long lines, inserting a `!' at the end of each line that continued

> So... do I conform to standards or make my my recipients unhappy? In
> passing I note that almost all the Email I get, not from
> address@hidden, has very long lines.

I send text/plain with lines no longer than 72 and blank lines between
paragraphs.  I've not had complaints of jaggedness but it certainly
wouldn't adjust to fit the width of the recipient's window.  The
long-lined emails you're receiving may say in the MIME-headers that the
text is to be `flowed', i.e. re-formatted to fit the viewer's display;
I'm not sure which part of nmh can handle that, mhl through mhshow?

Cheers, Ralph.

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