[MlMt] Default format=flowed change in 5800?

Pete Resnick resnick at episteme.net
Tue May 11 18:27:52 EDT 2021

On 11 May 2021, at 17:04, MLMT at RHP.TW wrote:

> I looked into _format=flowed_ when Benny made this change to learn 
> about it, and [this blog by 
> Fastmail](https://fastmail.blog/advanced/format-flowed/) outlines some 
> of the major concerns surrounding the standard. Mostly, it seems that 
> it's not well (or consistently) supported.

Ugh. That blog is from 2016, and has several errors:

- Thunderbird has it on by default AFAICT.
- Even if others don't support format=flowed, the message looks like a 
normal plain text message on the other end. No harm is done by 
supporting it.
- The IETF uses plain text mailing lists and never asks for 
format=flowed to be disabled. I have no idea what lists would ask for 
such a thing or why it would cause any line wrapping problems, except 
for sending around code patches inline in the text instead of as an 
attachment. Even there, who doesn't hard-wrap code at 72 characters? 
(Maybe I'm old.)
- The problem with HTML is not bloat, but the inability to edit replies 
- You can use a regular HTML editor to implement; you simply have to be 
able to realize that the HTML produced only has quoting and nothing else 
and convert that to text/plain format=flowed. I've done that. It's not 
rocket science.
- His last point seems to be that he has a hammer (Text::Autoformat) and 
therefore anything that is not a nail is a problem. Color me 

I am a big supporter of Benny's using Markdown and plain text as much as 
reasonably possible. I don't want that to go away. If more people would 
at least interpret format=flowed, the world would be a better place, 


Pete Resnick https://www.episteme.net/
All connections to the world are tenuous at best
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