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

William Blunn wrote:

> I believe that at this point they are talking about the byte stream that
> represents the encoded form of the message.
> If you are using quoted-printable encoding, then all encoded lines will
> be 78 characters or less, and so will be fitting in with the "SHOULD"
> specification, i.e. the most conformant.

Right, I understand that as well.

> And what problems would there be with that flowed message in other
> environments?
> Every mail reader I have ever seen wraps lines.
> Every web browser I have ever seen wraps lines.  The only problem here
> is that most archiving software rather unhelpfully mandates that the
> browser must not wrap at the right edge of the viewer's window.

My main problem with it is that it breaks quoting.  When I reply to a
message with no line breaks, my mail program has to either A) pick an
arbitrary margin and reflow the entire message to that margin, adding
">" to the first column of each line, or B) Insert a ">" at the
beginning of the paragraph and just let the long line dangle.  To the
person reading it will not appear correctly quoted (depending on screen
width) because only the first line will have a ">" prepended.  If you
have color highlighting enabled then this is even more apparent.  Option
(A) is leads to the conclusion that having the original message with
line breaks inserted is the best way to go if you expect it to be quoted
as part of a discussion, since that's the format it's going to end up in
for every message in the thread except the original post.  Option (B)
just results in broken quoting, and therefore should be avoided.

> > It's just like HTML email - can I read it?  Yes.  Do I want it in my
> > inbox? Heck no.
> I don't think this is valid.

It's valid in that I can view messages with long lines just fine, I just
don't  like them -- because I'm used to <80 column margins, they read
better on my screen, and I believe that email works better that way. 
This is not a technical statement but rather an opinion.  Likewise I CAN
view HTML emails but I hate receiving them because they come festered
with all sorts of colors and fonts.  (There are further technical
reasons why HTML email is stupid, so in that sense it is more valid than
a simple statement of opinion.)


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