Mangled MIME Headers in plain text mail

Drew Marshall drew.marshall at
Sat Apr 18 21:28:10 IST 2009

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This one has been causing me loads of grief now for a little while. I  
have tried all sorts of things such as using blank signatures but the  
plain text section of a HTML mail 'goes missing'. I thought it might  
have something to do with the fix that Jules rolled out in the latest  
beta caused by the Mail application in OS X but I am now running the  
latest beta and the problem has not gone.

To explain more, it seems that plain text only mails are fine,  
processed, signature added and all is well. Combined HTML and plain  
text mail the HTML section is fine and as that is the default view of  
most mail clients, no problem. However, if you then view this mail in  
plain text such as you might on a blackberry or other mobile type  
device the actual message is not visible, only the clean mail  
signature. When I look at the the raw message, it is there but beneath  
the signature and (I am no expert in MIME formatting) seems to be set  
with a different structure that the signature and hence not visible to  
'simple' clients (If you view the message in a half decent client, the  
message is visible under the signature).

For example this is part of a raw message:

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="ISO-8859-1"
Content-Disposition: inline
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

This message has been scanned for viruses and dangerous content by=20
the Mail Launder e-mail system.
For more information please visit

Content-Type: text/plain;
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

<-- The text from here is not visible in a plain text view -->

I can't  see any particular commonality in clients although I did  
originally think it was Thunderbird but Outlook also has been involved  
in mail that displays this problem. Prior to the current beta being  
installed, I did have one user who had her out bound mail (From  
Outlook) sent as plain text attachments with just the signature  
actually in the message. I haven't heard of any more of these but I  
guess most people don't get formatting feed back for mail they send :-)

Any one else seeing this behaviour? Any ideas how it could be fixed?


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