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Re: [OT] email standard maximum line length

On Thu, Apr 03, 2003 at 02:31:09PM -0800, Paul E Condon wrote:
> I am getting email from an old friend who is not a Debian type like
> me.  He types his email into a window on what he calls 'just a
> standard PC' and the computer automatically starts new lines on his
> screen when needed. His software is, in his words, 'just plain mail
> software, nothing special'.  Sometimes his emails are longer than a
> few dozen words, and when they exceed about one thousand characters of
> text, they are truncated. The last part of what he typed is simply
> missing from my copy. I suppose that there is a line buffer somewhere
> in the chain of delivery that is 1000 or 1024 bytes long. 

RFC2822 (Internet Message Format) states:

  2.1.1. Line Length Limits

    There are two limits that this standard places on the number of
    characters in a line. Each line of characters MUST be no more than
    998 characters, and SHOULD be no more than 78 characters, excluding
    the CRLF.

RFC2821 (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) states: Size limits and minimums
  text line
    The maximum total length of a text line including the <CRLF> is 1000
    characters (not counting the leading dot duplicated for
    transparency).  This number may be increased by the use of SMTP
    Service Extensions.

> I am curious about where in the chain of delivery the truncation might
> be happening. Is there a standard for email that specifies a line
> buffer size?

Yes, see above.

> My software is fetchmail and mutt. I have already established that the
> truncation is not happening in mutt, because I see it in
> /var/mail/pecondon .  I haven't yet figured out how I might check on
> fetchmail. I don't have access to the internals of my ISP.

It is probably not you.

> I'm working on getting him to press carriage return from time to time
> as he types, but he is somewhat set in his ways.

Why can't you get him to get his MUA to set the maximum line lengths?


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