Preventing multple signatures in email conversation?

Kevin Miller Kevin_Miller at
Thu Apr 30 18:24:24 IST 2009

Anthony Cartmell wrote:
>>> Interestingly, the MailScanner footer is preceeded by dash dash
>>> space and doesn't appear in the reply.  You're signature just has
>>> dashes but I presume it originally had a space following.
> Kai's message appears correctly in Opera, his signature is recognised
> and is displayed in grey rather than black. 

Interesting.  Never knew Opera did email - always figured it was just a browser.  I just subscribed my home email account to see how Thunderbird displays.  I expect it will be similar to Opera.  I've noticed that behavior before in it.  Probably because Outlook is written to top post, it makes signature handling much harder.  If I have a signature after my contribution at the top, the conversation below it would disappear.

>> Right.
>> So where is that
>>> getting stripped?  Do email clients parse from the bottom up until
>>> they see the last instance of dash dash space and then change any
>>> others to just dual dashes?
>> Yes, it looks like that. My client is doing the same. I thought it's
>> the QP, but it's the duplicate signature marker.
>> No message should have two signature seperators. I would have already
>> complained with Julian, if I had a better solution ;-)
> Opera is quite happy with two signature separators in a message, it
> simply treats the first one as the start of the signature: all text
> after it is in grey. Further signature separator lines are simply
> treated as part of the signature text.   

In replying to your message, the MS signature was stripped, but as you can see below, Outlook ignored yours.  Again, this is probably an outgrowth of it's propensity for top-posting.  Yet another reason not to.

I don't think this is something Julian can/should fix.  It seems to me that it's dumb decisions on Microsoft's part (and probably other clients as well) that cause the issue.  AFAIC, if I use a broken client, I should make the effort to clean up the posts.  Unfortunately, at work, I'm stuck w/a broken client.  Sigh.

> This has a slight downside that if a dash-dash-space line appears in
> a digest email then all the following messages are treated as
> signature text, and shown in grey. Perhaps other mail clients work
> backwards from the end of the message to find the signature separator
> they are going to use, to avoid this particular problem?    

That would make sense.  And, as Kai notes, it's much faster to parse from the bottom up.
> Perhaps in an ideal world the signature would be a separate MIME part
> in the message, so we wouldn't need to resort to text parsing tricks
> to identify it...  
> Anthony
> --
> - Quality web sites

No, in an ideal world Outlook would be rewritten to behave in a rational way.
I'm not holding my breath. <g>

Kevin Miller                Registered Linux User No: 307357
CBJ MIS Dept.               Network Systems Admin., Mail Admin.
155 South Seward Street     ph: (907) 586-0242
Juneau, Alaska 99801        fax: (907 586-4500

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