Re: did i ask a daft question?

From: Bjarni R. Einarsson (
Date: Þri 13 Feb 2001 - 13:42:21 UTC

On 2001-02-13, 14:25:10 (+0100), Tom Staels wrote:
> Hi all,
> due to the complete lack of response reg. my post on feat_log_inline I'm
> starting to wonder if:
> a. I am the only one to see this post, is it invisible to others reading
> this mailinglist?

Nah, I was just too busy to answer and forgot about it. Sorry about
that. I'm probalby the only person who knows the answer at the moment,
which lets everyone else on the list off the hook. :)

In short, I think the behavior you describe may actually be normal. Not
necessarily *good* but normal.

The sanitizer's inline logging feature is "opportunistic" and unreliable.
Keep in mind that since the sanitizer processes the message as a stream
it cannot backtrack and add log-info to a text/plain part after the part
has been closed and the next part (e.g. a text/html part) opened. And it
cannot alter the basic structure of the message after it has begun
parsing it. These are the basic reasons why inline logging doens't work

In a multipart/alternative message (containing a text part followed by an
HTML part) different things may be logged to different parts. If the log
is dumped in the text part (which usually comes first) then IIRC it won't
be repeated in the HTML part - so if Outlook decides to display the HTML
version of the message then the user won't see any log info. And
vice-versa - if the MUA displays the text/plain part, then the user won't
see info about stuff that was sanitized in the HTML part. This is
obviously a problem, but I haven't decided how to solve it yet.

There is another, even more basic problem with inserting logs into HTML
parts - the HTML code may render the log invisible by leaving an
invisible font color open at the end of the message, doing something
weird with style sheets, or something else like that.

And finally, there are messages that aren't multipart and don't contain
any text or HTML parts. Where does the log go then? At the moment
nowhere, it just disappears...

For multipart/mixed messages, this isn't an issue since the sanitizer can
simply append a new part to the message when it is done and dump the
whole log there. Logging works great with multipart messages, which
(luckily for us) are the vast majority of messages that actually need

This implies a solution: force all messages to be multipart/mixed. That
breaks my rule of not modifying the structure of the message any more
than absolutely necessary. But it might be a good idea anyway...

Any thoughts?

Bjarni R. Einarsson                           PGP: 02764305, B7A3AB89                -><-    

Check out my open-source email sanitizer:

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