[extropy-chat] LA Times: Electricity from the Sea

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Mon Mar 12 21:33:01 UTC 2007

For me, at least in both gmail and pine, the messages look like standard
Windows-1252 text.  Both gmail and pine seem to process it to scale with
window size.  Exported it ends up in standard ascii text with lines
something like 77 characters long, also "standard".

If someone is ending up with shorter lines I'd say it is due to their email
receiving program.

Not that I haven't seen the phenomena described *in* gmail.  It usually
involves someone cutting and pasting (or forwarding) an alternate news
source which was in narrow column format.  This tends to be a function of
*how* the cut & paste function works on their combination of O.S. + Window
Manager + Email program.

For example, cutting and pasting "text" under Linux + Gnome + Firefox +
Gmail is problematic if the "text" being manipulated happens to contain
those funny Windows quote characters or the m-dash or a host of other
"non-ascii" characters (pounds, euros, funny European character set
characters, etc.).  But it works fine if you avoid those characters.  I
suspect some sort of similar problem occurs with various OS + mail program
combinations where one has to convert back and forth between lines of
unspecified width and lines of a fixed width.

Always bear this in mind.  The "line terminator" character convention is a
function of the O.S.  The cut and paste conventions are a function of the
window manager and to a lesser extent the "Language" you are working in.
But it is very easy to fall into a pit when the messages are in one
"language" convention, e.g. Windows-1252 but your Window manager and/or
email systems are working in a different character set and/or language.

Before one curses the sender, one might want to curse Microsoft for defining
its own set of standards which is different from those which are
internationally accepted.

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