[Smaug] CR/LF, wordwrap, newline & ASCII

Paul Thomas paul at cuenet.com
Fri, 14 Jun 2002 15:38:38 -0700 (PDT)

On Fri, 14 Jun 2002, Rick Moen wrote:

> Just to clarify my post:
> You quote your MacEudora-using friend as saying that his mailer "saved
> to disk emails as plain text files containing only lines of text of some
> specified length without inserting any end of line control character".
> What he means is that, in saving to ASCII, Eudora doesn't alter e-mails
> to insert hard returns.  Subsequently, any MacOS editor or text-pager he
> uses (Notepad, Simpletext, etc.) to view the file will soft-autowrap 
> long lines to fit the display window -- because that's what MacOS
> text-handlers pretty much always do.

I think you nailed it there.

> Your Mac-using friend has conditioned himself to think that hard returns
> are bad, because their presence within paragraphs is problematic to him.

Maybe worse. He was insisting to me that text saved to ASCII files
in this fashion makes them portable to any OS, because they are in 
ASCII. That is why he suggested my text pager must be from the 70's
or that my system introduced 'artifacts'.

I did a couple years ago have the occasion of downloading off someone's
ftp site a Procmail script in a ready to run ASCII plain text file. The
file was prepared with vi on a unice and I downloaded with lynx on my
Linux platform. The script ended up full of our ^M friends at the end
of each line and would no longer run. Using an ftp client in binary
mode was a more successful download. But I have not been able to repeat
that, and maybe I left something out of the picture here, it was 2 1/2
years ago or so. But I shouldn't go into that here as I don't have good
data to go on.

World without Simpletext amen,


William J. Broad: "The crux... is that the vast majority of the mass
of the universe seems to be missing."