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   Re: [xml-dev] Whence Comes The Odd Whitespace?

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(This is OT for XML, unless you're thinking about XML as text in an internet
message format based protocol, so I've warned you in advance, 'kay?)

On Fri, Jul 16, 2004 at 01:18:02PM -0500, Bullard, Claude L (Len) wrote:
>Confessing more than just a bit of ignorance about listservers, 
>please some one tell me why the white space appears in these 
>Subject lines when the mail is distributed that aren't there 
>when it is posted.  In this case, between the s and i in inside?
>RE: [xml-dev] What is the rule for parsing XML in a namespace ins ide HTML?

I can't tell from this, although the headers (Control-U in most mailers)
might be informative.  I can make a strong guess, though.

Prepend "Subject: " and pass that through wc, and it works out to 75
characters.  A bit short for a line break, but much too close to the
78-character internet-message-format header line limit to resist.

Best guess: the header line actually looks like this:

Subject: RE: [xml-dev] What is the rule for parsing XML in a namespace ins
  ide HTML

That is, some stringent mailer in the path between the poster and your
mailer decided that the line was too long, so it shortened it, and added the
rest in a continuation line.  Your mailer, then, in displaying the subject,
normalized the continuation (rather like HTML normalization).

By examining headers from several messages that pass through the same
mailing list and show the same oddity, you could probably narrow down the
possible culprits for the bad break.  Most likely an older sendmail.  It's
possible that it's the listserv software (xml-dev is run on ezmlm; you could
check their bug reports to see if it's reported).

>Wouldn't that hose the subject thread?

Err, mailers shouldn't use the Subject header to thread; they should use the
References header.  If they are using the Subject header, then they have to
deal at least with prefixes, and could presumably also be taught to deal
with multiple lines and bad breaks.  But server software is unlikely to pay
special attention to a subject header so that it can be used for unsupported

(what a geek i can be ...)
Amelia A. Lewis                    amyzing {at} talsever.com
  "You go on.  You just go on.  There's nothing more to it, and there's
no trick to make it easier.  You just go on."
  "What do you find on the other side?  When you go on?"
  She shrugged.  "Your life again.  What else?"
		-- Harra Csurik and Miles Vorkosigan


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