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Linux/Documentation/email-clients.txt

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

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