McKinley: mangled mail

From: <>
Date: Tue Aug 03 1999 - 12:08:13 PDT

An off topic, brief technical primer:

Internet e-mail consists of a header and a body, separated
by a blank line. The header contains colon-delimited fields, a la
Subject: Make money fast!

The body is everything else. Leave out the blank line, and bad things might
happen; smart mailers might notice the lack of a colon and cope. Start your
first line with 'some-word:' without a blank line between that and the header
and bad things _will_ happen.

I see my entire message in my editor, so it is easy to keep the header
separate. I've never used Yahoo mail or hotmail, so don't know what they look
like, but if you've had problems, yes, try a blank line at the beginning,
especially if you have a colon early on.

As an addendum, Unix mailboxes typically are separated by lines beginning with
'From ' (no colon); this is why you might sometime seen '>From ' in a message
you receive; a mail program inserts the '>' to prevent bad things happening.

If this all seems rather primitive in a way, there's a reason to it: when
Unix/Internet programs break down, you can still find out what's going on by
just looking at the files. Text uber alles.

-xx- Damien X-)
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Received on Tue Aug 3 12:12:15 1999

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