RFC - e-mail in tough environments

Peter Lewis prlewis at fsfe.org
Thu Dec 10 16:03:58 UTC 2009


On Thursday 10 Dec 2009 13:41:26 Martin Gollowitzer wrote:
> > A good client should have dynamic word wrapping IMO.

> I don't think so. A good client should show exactly the content of an
> e-mail. If there is no line break, don't show it. I use mutt (IMHO one
> of the best e-mail clients out there) which adds a coloured "+" if a
> text without a line break hits the right margin in the pager. I think
> the 72 chars recommendation has something to do with the 80 chars width
> of a standard terminal (not sure about it though).

This is an interesting point - really we'd need different functionality based on the content of the email: natural language vs code of some sort, where, as I mentioned in my previous email, line breaks matter. But presumably it wouldn't be too difficult to implement a quick keypress which switched between dynamic breaking and not breaking. In KMail (my preferred client) for example, I can hit 'x' to switch between a variable width font (best for natural language) and a fixed width font (best for code and ASCII art).

> I personally believe it's better to have narrow lines and more of them 
> instead having to read endless lines (and maybe have to scroll in a GUI 
> mail client that does not break lines automatically, which I prefer as 
> already mentioned).

Then, if I may be so bold, this would be your choice to have your client dynamically break it with short lines :-)


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