#3011 new
Daphne Preston-Kendal

Hard wrapping in plain text composition

Reported by Daphne Preston-Kendal | February 17th, 2022 @ 01:35 PM

I have been using the MailMate trial (Version 1.14 (5852)) for the last two weeks and I generally like it. It is good to see there is finally someone taking care of making a good email client for the nerds and not just for the non-technical users whom Apple targets with Mail.app.

However, it doesn’t support hard wrapping of plain text emails, the main feature I consider important in a message composer. Various sources indicate that MailMate’s maintainer is opposed to hard wrapping philosophically, and refuses to implement it for that reason:

But here’s the reality:

  • if someone sends me a mail that is hard wrapped to a certain number of columns, I assume that is because their mailer is from the dark ages and does not soft wrap displayed messages properly; so, as a matter of politeness, I try to reply hard wrapped to the same number of characters
  • there are still many mailing lists where it is considered bad netiquette to post non-hard-wrapped messages, because participants with mailers from the dark ages find non-wrapped messages hard to read, and/or their Hypermail is set up not to apply white-space: pre-wrap to their HTML archives

Therefore, I would like MailMate to at least support as an option the style of plain text composition described here:
Tl;dr: I can control the soft-wrap column; the soft-wrap column only affects my lines, not quoted lines; when I send the email, the soft-wrap points get converted into hard line breaks.

(Also, the weird thing in MailMate where >s appear at the beginning of subsequent lines of soft-wrapped quotes may look pretty, but it’s really annoying to work with when excerpting only part of a paragraph to reply to. As jwz suggests, quoted lines shouldn’t soft wrap at all; or if they do, there should either be no ‘magic’ > that isn’t really there, or the ‘magic’ > should appear in a different font colour (light grey, maybe?))

Comments and changes to this ticket

  • benny

    benny February 23rd, 2022 @ 01:45 PM

    I know that's not what you are asking for, but as noted in the linked thread I do believe I should bring format=flowed back somehow. It's a bit of an experiment that I've disabled it for some time.

    I've got a lot of notes on how MailMate could handle line wrapping (by default and options), but it's a can of worms. Someone's going to be unhappy no matter what I do. Eventually, I will return to this issue to give it another go.

    I've added your ticket to my notes on the subject and I've added the request for an option to disable the visual wrapping (with added >s) in your last paragraph.

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Mac OS X email client.

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