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Linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt

  1 Email clients info for Linux
  2 ======================================================================
  3 
  4 Git
  5 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
  6 These days most developers use `git send-email` instead of regular
  7 email clients.  The man page for this is quite good.  On the receiving
  8 end, maintainers use `git am` to apply the patches.
  9 
 10 If you are new to git then send your first patch to yourself.  Save it
 11 as raw text including all the headers.  Run `git am raw_email.txt` and
 12 then review the changelog with `git log`.  When that works then send
 13 the patch to the appropriate mailing list(s).
 14 
 15 General Preferences
 16 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 17 Patches for the Linux kernel are submitted via email, preferably as
 18 inline text in the body of the email.  Some maintainers accept
 19 attachments, but then the attachments should have content-type
 20 "text/plain".  However, attachments are generally frowned upon because
 21 it makes quoting portions of the patch more difficult in the patch
 22 review process.
 23 
 24 Email clients that are used for Linux kernel patches should send the
 25 patch text untouched.  For example, they should not modify or delete tabs
 26 or spaces, even at the beginning or end of lines.
 27 
 28 Don't send patches with "format=flowed".  This can cause unexpected
 29 and unwanted line breaks.
 30 
 31 Don't let your email client do automatic word wrapping for you.
 32 This can also corrupt your patch.
 33 
 34 Email clients should not modify the character set encoding of the text.
 35 Emailed patches should be in ASCII or UTF-8 encoding only.
 36 If you configure your email client to send emails with UTF-8 encoding,
 37 you avoid some possible charset problems.
 38 
 39 Email clients should generate and maintain References: or In-Reply-To:
 40 headers so that mail threading is not broken.
 41 
 42 Copy-and-paste (or cut-and-paste) usually does not work for patches
 43 because tabs are converted to spaces.  Using xclipboard, xclip, and/or
 44 xcutsel may work, but it's best to test this for yourself or just avoid
 45 copy-and-paste.
 46 
 47 Don't use PGP/GPG signatures in mail that contains patches.
 48 This breaks many scripts that read and apply the patches.
 49 (This should be fixable.)
 50 
 51 It's a good idea to send a patch to yourself, save the received message,
 52 and successfully apply it with 'patch' before sending patches to Linux
 53 mailing lists.
 54 
 55 
 56 Some email client (MUA) hints
 57 ----------------------------------------------------------------------
 58 Here are some specific MUA configuration hints for editing and sending
 59 patches for the Linux kernel.  These are not meant to be complete
 60 software package configuration summaries.
 61 
 62 Legend:
 63 TUI = text-based user interface
 64 GUI = graphical user interface
 65 
 66 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 67 Alpine (TUI)
 68 
 69 Config options:
 70 In the "Sending Preferences" section:
 71 
 72 - "Do Not Send Flowed Text" must be enabled
 73 - "Strip Whitespace Before Sending" must be disabled
 74 
 75 When composing the message, the cursor should be placed where the patch
 76 should appear, and then pressing CTRL-R let you specify the patch file
 77 to insert into the message.
 78 
 79 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 80 Evolution (GUI)
 81 
 82 Some people use this successfully for patches.
 83 
 84 When composing mail select: Preformat
 85   from Format->Heading->Preformatted (Ctrl-7)
 86   or the toolbar
 87 
 88 Then use:
 89   Insert->Text File... (Alt-n x)
 90 to insert the patch.
 91 
 92 You can also "diff -Nru old.c new.c | xclip", select Preformat, then
 93 paste with the middle button.
 94 
 95 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 96 Kmail (GUI)
 97 
 98 Some people use Kmail successfully for patches.
 99 
100 The default setting of not composing in HTML is appropriate; do not
101 enable it.
102 
103 When composing an email, under options, uncheck "word wrap". The only
104 disadvantage is any text you type in the email will not be word-wrapped
105 so you will have to manually word wrap text before the patch. The easiest
106 way around this is to compose your email with word wrap enabled, then save
107 it as a draft. Once you pull it up again from your drafts it is now hard
108 word-wrapped and you can uncheck "word wrap" without losing the existing
109 wrapping.
110 
111 At the bottom of your email, put the commonly-used patch delimiter before
112 inserting your patch:  three hyphens (---).
113 
114 Then from the "Message" menu item, select insert file and choose your patch.
115 As an added bonus you can customise the message creation toolbar menu
116 and put the "insert file" icon there.
117 
118 Make the composer window wide enough so that no lines wrap. As of
119 KMail 1.13.5 (KDE 4.5.4), KMail will apply word wrapping when sending
120 the email if the lines wrap in the composer window. Having word wrapping
121 disabled in the Options menu isn't enough. Thus, if your patch has very
122 long lines, you must make the composer window very wide before sending
123 the email. See: https://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=174034
124 
125 You can safely GPG sign attachments, but inlined text is preferred for
126 patches so do not GPG sign them.  Signing patches that have been inserted
127 as inlined text will make them tricky to extract from their 7-bit encoding.
128 
129 If you absolutely must send patches as attachments instead of inlining
130 them as text, right click on the attachment and select properties, and
131 highlight "Suggest automatic display" to make the attachment inlined to
132 make it more viewable.
133 
134 When saving patches that are sent as inlined text, select the email that
135 contains the patch from the message list pane, right click and select
136 "save as".  You can use the whole email unmodified as a patch if it was
137 properly composed.  There is no option currently to save the email when you
138 are actually viewing it in its own window -- there has been a request filed
139 at kmail's bugzilla and hopefully this will be addressed.  Emails are saved
140 as read-write for user only so you will have to chmod them to make them
141 group and world readable if you copy them elsewhere.
142 
143 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
144 Lotus Notes (GUI)
145 
146 Run away from it.
147 
148 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
149 Mutt (TUI)
150 
151 Plenty of Linux developers use mutt, so it must work pretty well.
152 
153 Mutt doesn't come with an editor, so whatever editor you use should be
154 used in a way that there are no automatic linebreaks.  Most editors have
155 an "insert file" option that inserts the contents of a file unaltered.
156 
157 To use 'vim' with mutt:
158   set editor="vi"
159 
160   If using xclip, type the command
161   :set paste
162   before middle button or shift-insert or use
163   :r filename
164 
165 if you want to include the patch inline.
166 (a)ttach works fine without "set paste".
167 
168 Config options:
169 It should work with default settings.
170 However, it's a good idea to set the "send_charset" to:
171   set send_charset="us-ascii:utf-8"
172 
173 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
174 Pine (TUI)
175 
176 Pine has had some whitespace truncation issues in the past, but these
177 should all be fixed now.
178 
179 Use alpine (pine's successor) if you can.
180 
181 Config options:
182 - quell-flowed-text is needed for recent versions
183 - the "no-strip-whitespace-before-send" option is needed
184 
185 
186 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
187 Sylpheed (GUI)
188 
189 - Works well for inlining text (or using attachments).
190 - Allows use of an external editor.
191 - Is slow on large folders.
192 - Won't do TLS SMTP auth over a non-SSL connection.
193 - Has a helpful ruler bar in the compose window.
194 - Adding addresses to address book doesn't understand the display name
195   properly.
196 
197 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
198 Thunderbird (GUI)
199 
200 Thunderbird is an Outlook clone that likes to mangle text, but there are ways
201 to coerce it into behaving.
202 
203 - Allows use of an external editor:
204   The easiest thing to do with Thunderbird and patches is to use an
205   "external editor" extension and then just use your favorite $EDITOR
206   for reading/merging patches into the body text.  To do this, download
207   and install the extension, then add a button for it using
208   View->Toolbars->Customize... and finally just click on it when in the
209   Compose dialog.
210 
211 To beat some sense out of the internal editor, do this:
212 
213 - Edit your Thunderbird config settings so that it won't use format=flowed.
214   Go to "edit->preferences->advanced->config editor" to bring up the
215   thunderbird's registry editor.
216 
217 - Set "mailnews.send_plaintext_flowed" to "false"
218 
219 - Set "mailnews.wraplength" from "72" to "0"
220 
221 - "View" > "Message Body As" > "Plain Text"
222 
223 - "View" > "Character Encoding" > "Unicode (UTF-8)"
224 
225 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
226 TkRat (GUI)
227 
228 Works.  Use "Insert file..." or external editor.
229 
230 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
231 Gmail (Web GUI)
232 
233 Does not work for sending patches.
234 
235 Gmail web client converts tabs to spaces automatically.
236 
237 At the same time it wraps lines every 78 chars with CRLF style line breaks
238 although tab2space problem can be solved with external editor.
239 
240 Another problem is that Gmail will base64-encode any message that has a
241 non-ASCII character. That includes things like European names.
242 
243                                 ###

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