[MlMt] text/plain?

Bill Cole mmlist-20120120 at billmail.scconsult.com
Sat Apr 6 21:27:32 EDT 2019

On 6 Apr 2019, at 7:27, Randy Bush wrote:

> i receive an email
>     User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.14; rv:52.0)
>      Gecko/20100101 PostboxApp/6.1.13
>     MIME-Version: 1.0
>     Content-Type: text/plain; charset=windows-1252; format=flowed
>     Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>     Content-Language: en-US
> the text has funny space characters that i see if i save the text to
> disk and look at it with less
>     <A0>0.<A0><A0> flo....: 2.31 2018.11.03
>      <A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0> 1.<A0><A0> CLIMATE 
>      <A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0> * (N)ew 
> (M)odify (D)elete..: N
>      <A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0><A0> 2. * NAME OF CLOUD: 
> cumulus
> i presume the sender is thunderbird and they have created the text 
> with
> some sort of windows encoding on a mac?

Apparently. I've seen this in mail recently as well and suspect it may 
be a new default in Postbox or TBird or both to use windows-1252 instead 
of UTF-8. Windows-1252 is a close relative of ISO 8859-1 (Latin-1) and 
0xA0 is a non-breaking space in both.

> how can i save the content as vanilla ascii text?

Well, technically you can't represent a non-breaking space in ASCII 
because there's no such character defined in ASCII so there's no way to 
convert text with 0xA0 characters into "vanilla ascii" text.

You can convert 0xA0 to 0x20 (ASCII space) by piping the text through:

   tr '\240' ' '

However, doing the reverse could create a mess for anything that 
understands the different between a regular space and a non-breaking 

Tools which support POSIX character classes and locales should treat 
0xA0 as whitespace (class '[:space:]') if LC_ALL or LC_CTYPE is a 
Latin-1 locale, e.g. en_US.ISO8859-1.

Bill Cole
bill at scconsult.com or billcole at apache.org
(AKA @grumpybozo and many *@billmail.scconsult.com addresses)
Available For Hire: https://linkedin.com/in/billcole

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