Siderea (siderea) wrote in suggestions,

Newline Escapes for Post by Email

Newline Escapes for Post by Email

Short, concise description of the idea
Solve the problem of post-by-email interacting poorly with the email line-length-maximum specified in RFCs 2821 and 5321.

Full description of the idea
Post-by-email (w/o lj-raw) observes hard returns as meaningful formatting (i.e. makes them into <br />). Thus individual paragraphs must be "on one line". Unfortunately, there is an internet standard maximum line length of 990 characters. This is observed in standard SMTP servers such as sendmail, which break longer lines at the 990th character.

Thus a post-by-email post with a paragraph longer than 990 characters (which isn't terribly long, especially in a paragraph with lots of longish URLs in it) arrives at LJ with a break in the middle. This break happening in the middle of tags, such as in the URL of an A tag, can create extra special mischief.

Since the internet line-length standard isn't negotiable, LJ could solve this problem in LJ usage by establishing an "escape" for a line break which would then not be observed by the HTMLifying parser.

That is, a user would be able to terminate a line with the escape (e.g. "===") and the parser would then glue the subsequent line onto it (remove the "===\n"), reconstituting the paragraph as one "line".

An ordered list of benefits
  • Post-by-email posts would no longer have random line breaks inserted into them.
An ordered list of problems/issues involved
  • A good choice of escape character is critical. It has to be something people are unlikely to be using normally and unlikely to do by accident.
  • There's some complexity here about character sets and new lines versus line feeds and all that, which would have to be thought through.
  • It should be possible to have more than one line break escaped, so a paragraph of 2000 characters, e.g., could be reconstituted.
Tags: post by e-mail, § no status
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