[Evolution] Bug#690741: evolution corrupts any mboxes with "From_" lines

Christoph Anton Mitterer christoph.anton.mitterer at lmu.de
Sat Nov 24 17:00:42 UTC 2012

Hi Michael.

On Fri, 2012-11-23 at 22:20 +0100, Michael Banck wrote:
> I still don't get what exactly gets corrupted.  It sounds like lines
> starting or containing "From" get changed, either quoted or unquoted, is
> that it?
I'm not quite sure how I could explain it any better than I've already
did in the different upstream bugs... =)

The problem is that with mboxo From_ lines (that is lines matching the
regexp "^From (.*)$") in the mail header or body are converted to ">From
In simple words, the "From " is quoted with a ">".

This is necessary, as From_ lines also serve as the separator lines for
the different mails in a mbox(*) file.

The problem with mboxo now is: From_ lines (in the mail body header)
that are already preceded by one or more ">" are _not_ quoted.

Therefore no MUA/tool can ever correctly unquote the content later when
displaying it, because when it encounters a line like:
>From Russia with love
it can't know whether it read originally
From Russia with love
or whether it read originally already:
>From Russia with love

> Assuming the above, I am downgrading this to important, as it does not
> seem to be a major use-case for evolution which warrants its exclusion
> in wheezy.
Well, for the reasons outline int the upstream bugs and before in the
Debian bugs, I can't agree that this is justified.
To be honest, trying to fight this bug at the different upstreams made
me quite annoyed... and I've rather lost any interest helping other
users not to suffer from it, too (which is why I brought up the
suggestions what we can/should do IMHO at the Debian level to prevent
our users from getting hit by it).
Apparently many upstream developers/maintainers think as you, that it's
fully ok to let users silently live with this allegedly "minor"
Given that I think it's useless to repeat my arguments why it is not
over and over again, I've forwarded[0] the question to d-d where the
majority should perhaps decide how Debian should deal with such a
corruption. Further I think it would be better for Debian as a "product"
to handle this issue equally at all of it's affected packages.

Feel free to add your arguments there :)

> Or is evolution throwing away the whole mail or even mbox?
No, but I don't think the severity is lowered therefore.
Not only are users never informed that this happened for years with
their mail... but also, whenever they work with mbox, e.g. importing
their old archives,... all mails (with From_ lines) get corrupted...
thereby braking signatures,... "binary" content like attached files with
From_ lines or patches.

[0] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2012/11/msg00675.html
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