[ why i do not like base64]

Tim ignored_mailbox at yahoo.com.au
Sat Jan 21 13:38:20 UTC 2012

>}> X-Mailer: Evolution (

> dose Evolution convert 'base64' to 'text' during view source?

I wouldn't think any mailer would do so.  That wouldn't be viewing the
source, or "raw message," under those circumstances.  The normal mail
viewer would, it's job is to show you the message, no matter how it's
produced (so long as it was one of the schemes that it understood).  The
source viewer is there to let you see the uncooked content, in case you
need to be able to.  Such as to try and read a badly damage message.

> or, convert to text when email receive?

Evolution doesn't appear to do any conversions, it'll translate and show
the message, as it's supposed to be seen.  I'm sure that I've seen some
base64 encoded messages in a source view, I just don't have a handy one
to test at the moment.  And the blasted program has just taken this
moment to start misbehaving (the source viewer is showing garbage in
various places, and only showing half the message, and is still doing it
after I've quit and restarted the program).

> intelligent email 'handlers', 'servers', 'clients', do not convert
> enigmail to 'base64'.

I wouldn't have expected "enigmail" content to be the criteria for why
something might do a conversion.  But what may be a trigger, is any
message that isn't directly transcribeable as 7-bit ascii.  Some
so-called "smart" software will decide that if it's not 7-bit ascii, it
might be good to convert it.

> as of this time, 1818 utc, the thread contains;
> 7 post:  2-enig, 5-b64
> my post: 1-enig, 1-b64
> b64 posters: op, tim, g, ibmalone
> enig posters: g, h.reindl

My messages were being sent as 7-bit ASCII, or utf8 quoted-printable, if
any content went beyond the ASCII repertoire (e.g. accented characters,
proper punctuation, quotes of foreign languages).  There doesn't appear
to be an option to pick whether to use quoted-printable or base64
encoding.  I've just reset it to use utf7, so all messages should (now)
go out unchanged.  I'll have a look when it comes back through the
server.  There's a chance that the Fedora list server converts all mail
to 8bit.

> when i post enigmail, there is not conversion of my post.

Your signing process may ensure that it sends using a 7bit format, that
shouldn't trigger any need to encode the content.

> when i post unsigned, my post arrives base64.

You may be preset to always post in an 8bit mode.  Usually, smart
clients, and I use the word "smart" with irony (it really just means
those with some automatic options triggered by some conditions), will
send mail as ASCII if the content only contained characters that are in
its repertoire.  But as soon as you go beyond those 127 characters,
it'll switch to some other method.

>> X-MIME-Autoconverted: from base64 to 8bit by mailserver.lan.example.com

> where and with what is above being inserted?

That was the header immediately above the message, not in the middle of
the list of all the mail servers it had passed through.

> it would appear "X-MIME-Autoconverted:" is/may be a config within
> _your_ email handler??

Well, one handler, but I don't think the mail client Evolution.  And
looking through /var/mail/tim, I can see that header in the mail spool
before Evolution gets to touch the mail.  Leaving fetchmail, and Dovecot
as the culprits.  I don't think sendmail is in this part of the

> setting up server will not be a problem.
> problem is a "box" to put it in. 8-(. which is 'r2i' new power supply.
> plus side, another box can/will be used as file server also. ;)

For years now, I've found it handy to have a separate server box that
runs an older OS that doesn't need updating all the time.  I can use
whatever mail clients I like, and not have to worry about losing mail
because of changing mail clients.  Likewise for ease of upgrading other
computers, when the files aren't stored on them.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

Don't send private replies to my address, the mailbox is ignored.  I
read messages from the public lists.

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