I help run a private Mailman mailing list for a group that is occasionally
seeing garbled messages in their plain-text digests. The garbled messages
are completely unreadable, with every character of the original message
being lost.

The garbled messages seem to appear only when:

- The original post is a multipart message
- The "text/plain" part of the message uses a "utf-8" character set
- The "text/plain" part of the message is set to "quoted-printable" encoding
- and the "text/plain" part of the message does not appear to be quoted, but
rather plain text - it looks like pure ASCII to me with no equal signs, and
with unquoted CR/LF line endings

I've tried suggesting mime digests, but the users have shunned them, and
strongly prefer the plain-text digests.

I'd include a sample of one of these messages, but the list's owners have
advised that the material is sensitive.
From my "mm_cfg.py" file:
add_language('en', 'English (USA)', 'iso-8859-1', 'ltr')

I had previously tried using "utf-8" for the setting, but users complained
that the digests were unreadable.

Any ideas / help much appreciated.

Regards,

Rick

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  • Mark Sapiro at Sep 11, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    Rick Morrison wrote:
    I help run a private Mailman mailing list for a group that is occasionally
    seeing garbled messages in their plain-text digests. The garbled messages
    are completely unreadable, with every character of the original message
    being lost.

    The garbled messages seem to appear only when:

    - The original post is a multipart message
    - The "text/plain" part of the message uses a "utf-8" character set
    - The "text/plain" part of the message is set to "quoted-printable" encoding
    - and the "text/plain" part of the message does not appear to be quoted, but
    rather plain text - it looks like pure ASCII to me with no equal signs, and
    with unquoted CR/LF line endings

    I've tried suggesting mime digests, but the users have shunned them, and
    strongly prefer the plain-text digests.

    I'd include a sample of one of these messages, but the list's owners have
    advised that the material is sensitive.
    From my "mm_cfg.py" file:
    add_language('en', 'English (USA)', 'iso-8859-1', 'ltr')

    I had previously tried using "utf-8" for the setting, but users complained
    that the digests were unreadable.
    utf-8 probably doesn't work for you because the Python email library
    wants to base64 encode utf-8 message bodies, and the user's MUAs
    aren't properly handling that.


    What Mailman version?

    By every character lost, do you mean replaced with a '?' or something
    else.

    Did you change from the default us-ascii for English in an attempt to
    solve this or for some other reason?

    Is it only the affected message that's garbled in the digest? I.e.
    other messages in the digest are OK? Are the headers of the affected
    message garbled too?

    --
    Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net> The highway is for gamblers,
    San Francisco Bay Area, California better use your sense - B. Dylan
  • Rick Morrison at Sep 11, 2009 at 3:53 pm
    Hi Marc, thanks for the reply.

    What Mailman version?
    We're running 2.1.12

    By every character lost, do you mean replaced with a '?' or something
    else.
    Looks like replaced characters. Here's a sample:

    ???????j? ?b~??
    ???.?v?I?m4??V?????j?j????' #? ???\???T?i?^?
    ? 8 m?????f???,? ???^j??????:"???\?j?u????^????J?x ????????Wb???????x ??1??
    ???jwG?mN ????? y??7????? ??'(??r+^u????? ?:.??r ???nt?h??b?x????h|??*'?????
    ???jv???/y???^???????%???????&)?z,^? h??V????I?????jwZ????????{aj??Wkz?Zq???
    ???b~??"? "?)n?*'??.???????V????{h}?m??????x-??\?jx?? -????r h?+bq?]????????
    ??w???????'????j)??x* ?+b?{aj????????wm?????v ???????}t????&j?.??z??????j???
    ??e??j{m??y?m???j???? ?zf??? ???^ ???+?????? ?j?+y???? ????????Z j?? ?j'V{ ?
    <snip>

    Did you change from the default us-ascii for English in an attempt to
    solve this or for some other reason?
    I made the change in an attempt to fix this.


    Is it only the affected message that's garbled in the digest? I.e.
    other messages in the digest are OK? Are the headers of the affected
    message garbled too?
    Yes only the affected messages bodies are garbled, other messages are fine.

    As for the headers, all the headers appear clear for all messages, including
    the garbled ones. Here are the headers from a garbled message, they're
    taken directly from the digest itself with my edits to remove the private
    info:

    ------------------------------

    Message: 6
    Date: Wed, 9 Sep 2009 13:38:15 EDT
    From: (removed)
    To: (removed)
    Subject: [List] Subject
    Message-ID: <c60.4ea0e7c9.37d94207 at aol.com >
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"



    Regards,
    Rick

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postedSep 8, '09 at 4:35p
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