OT: Mail system trashes Swedish flag

Jonathan Ryshpan jonrysh at pacbell.net
Wed Mar 20 15:57:29 UTC 2013

On Wed, 2013-03-20 at 20:05 +1030, Tim wrote:
> On Tue, 2013-03-19 at 23:41 -0700, Jonathan Ryshpan wrote:
> > I've just completed the first exercise for using inkscape, which is to
> > draw a Swedish flag.  I saved it as a PDF and emailed it to a Swedish
> > friend, but all he got when he viewed the image was an empty
> > rectangle.  It seems the trouble is that somewhere in the mail system,
> Check the MIME type that your mailer is sending it as.  It should be a
> binary one specific to the actual file type.  And the file should be not
> be converted, in any way, at either end.
> However, if you're mistakenly sending it as a text/plain attachment,
> mail systems may do whatever they usually do as text files go through
> them, which can include translating line endings.
> Likewise, if their end doesn't properly handle the type of attachment
> that it's receiving.  Some systems label PDF files as simply being
> application/octet-stream, which just means generic non-specific binary,
> and some systems mishandle such files.
> When you say you saved it as a PDF, are you actually saving as a PDF
> filetype, or just tacking PDF onto the end of the filename?  Related to
> that, are you sending a PDF file type without giving it a PDF filename?

I'm a little perplexed.  Linux doesn't mark files with their type, as
Mac systems do.  The file has a .pdf extension, and the file command
shows it as PDF type.
        $ file SwedishFlag.pdf 
        SwedishFlag.pdf: PDF document, version 1.5

> How did you email it?  What mail program did you use?

The email program is evolution.  I clicked "Send".

Here is the start of the section of the message containing the
attachment in question:
        Content-Type: application/pdf; name="SwedishFlag.pdf"
        Content-Disposition: inline; filename="SwedishFlag.pdf"
        Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

I've attached a copy of SwedishFlag.pdf.  Also SwedishFlag.zip, as
suggested in an earlier posting.  Let's see what the mail system does to
them in Linux systems.

Thanks - jon

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