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bug#7987: 23.2; Refill error in message-mode

From: Jesse Sheidlower
Subject: bug#7987: 23.2; Refill error in message-mode
Date: Thu, 10 Feb 2011 16:02:09 -0500
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.20 (2009-06-14)

On Thu, Feb 10, 2011 at 02:50:42PM -0500, Stefan Monnier wrote:
> > Hmm. I guess you're right, although this behavior doesn't seem to be
> > mentioned in the Manual. I'm using message-mode with Mutt, so there are
> > no headers in the buffer.
> No headers at all?  Where's the subject, then?

In the headers that are not dumped to Emacs. The default configuration
of Mutt has the headers edited through the Mutt interface, and only the
body is sent to your $EDITOR. (You can override this, and edit the
entire message, including headers, if desired, but my impression is that
most people don't do this.)

> > I'll experiment further and will update if necessary. Is there a
> > preferred way to tell message-mode to assume that the buffer is a
> > message body, rather than a header?
> Add a header.
> Maybe it would be be good to make message-mode accept an empty line as
> a mail-header-separator (as does rfc822-goto-eoh).

Well, I don't truly know how common this use-case is (though it's common
enough that the EmacsWiki entry for Mutt and Emacs provides a
workaround), but maybe it would also be good to be able to have
message-mode accept the fact that you're editing a message body only? I
personally don't use message-mode for the actual sending of messages,
and in general I'd think that there could be reasons for wanting the
editing and formatting features of message-mode without the sending
features. Being able to say explicitly that you're editing the body
would be, to my mind, a better solution than adding a fake header, or
adding "(setq mail-header-separator "")" to one's .emacs, which feel
like kludges for this issue.

I'm not familiar with other text-based e-mail programs, but this is how
most GUI or web-based mailers work too--the headers are off in one
place, where they can be modified using one method, and the body is some
textarea that is edited using some other variety of tools.

Jesse Sheidlower

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