[Tickets #3381] NEW: "forward" handles text/alternative wrongly

bugs@bugs.horde.org bugs at bugs.horde.org
Wed Feb 1 10:16:54 PST 2006


Ticket URL: http://bugs.horde.org/ticket/?id=3381
 Ticket             | 3381
 Created By         | jmorzins at mit.edu
 Summary            | "forward" handles text/alternative wrongly
 Queue              | IMP
 Version            | 4.0.3
 State              | New
 Priority           | 2. Medium
 Type               | Enhancement
 Owners             | 

jmorzins at mit.edu (2006-02-01 10:16) wrote:


We've noticed a problem with the way IMP forwards messages, and wanted to
report it here so that you could look at the situation and consider changing

The problem:
- When forwarding a multipart/alternative message, IMP puts the text/plain
part into the text editing field, and encourages the user to edit that text.
 However, IMP adds the text/html part as an attachment to the message!
- This causes problems: we have users who will edit the text section (adding
or deleting text), and send the message on.  When the message is received, a
recipient's mail program will often show the text/html part instead of the
text/plain part -- showing the recipient text that the sender did not intend
for the recipient to see.

Users don't understand multipart/alternative and text/plain text/html
distinctions.  They only understand "I edited the text and I forwarded the
message -- but my correspondant saw things he wasn't supposed to see!  Stop
this from happening!"

We can train our users to check the Attachments section on the composition
page, deleting text/html attachments before they send the forwarded message.
 But it would be easier for us if IMP were improved to be even more

Possible solutions:
I can think of two ways to adjust IMP to avoid this problem. You may be able
to think of ways yourself.
- Option 1: when forwarding a multipart/alternative message, IMP should
choose the text/plain part and should DISCARD the text/html part.  The user
can edit the text/plain, and forward that, and they will send exactly what
they thought they were sending.
- Option 2: when forwarding a multipart/alternative message, IMP should not
allow the user to edit the original text.  IMP should attach the original
text as a message/rfc822 attachment, and should allow the user to compose a
preamble message.

The main problem is the text/plain and text/html parts of a message should
never be out of sync.  Either of these options will avoid that problem; you
may be able to think of your own solutions.

Thank you,

Jacob Morzinski
MIT IS&T: Customer Support Services
jmorzins at mit.edu

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