[thelist] problem with accented characters in email

Andrew Clover and-evolt at doxdesk.com
Fri Dec 10 02:23:50 CST 2004

Sarah Sweeney <mr.sanders at designshift.com> wrote:

> The problem arises when users enter accented characters in their subject 
> or message; these characters come through with some kind of encoding 
> (e.g. "=?iso-8859-1?Q?Version_fran=E7aise_?=").

See RFC 2047, "encoded-word". This type of coding is a standard 
especially designed for e-mail.

You can't put *any* non-7-bit-ASCII character in a mail header, because 
only the body content is affected by Content-Type, not the headers. So a 
special escape sequence is used to indicate the data is encoded - in 
this case as quoted-printable Latin-1.

All mailers released in the last (mumble) years can understand RFC 2047 
encoded-words; if your trouble ticket system is mangling them, it is 
broken. No extra headers should be required; technically you should make 
sure there's a MIME-Version in there otherwise a mailer might think that 
you predate MIME and so don't know about RFC 2047, and so really mean to 
say '=?...' after all. But in practice I don't know of any mailers that 
actually do this.

Andrew Clover
mailto:and at doxdesk.com

More information about the thelist mailing list