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It seems that when one replies to an UTF-8 mail
squirrelmail does not mark the result's encoding as
Unfortunately the quoted text is UTF-8 even if the
reply is pure iso-8859-1
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enable loosy_encoding in 10. Language Options.
SquirrelMail compose uses same charset that is set by
selected translation and does not convert different charset
to selected charset, if selected charset does not cover all
characters from used charset. Conversion is enabled by
default, only when utf-8 translation is used or email and
translation uses matching Cyrillic and Baltic charsets
(koi8-r, koi8-u, iso-8859-4, iso-8859-5, iso-8859-13,
a) email is utf-8, you use German translation in iso-8859-1.
if loosy_encoding is not enabled, 8bit text is broken
because iso-8859-1 covers only ~220 characters and utf-8 can
contain millions of different chars.
b) email is iso-8859-15, you use German translation in
iso-8859-1. squirrelmail does not convert charsets by
default, but you don't see problems, because there is only 6
character difference between these charsets. You might see
problem only when Euro symbol is used.
c) email is in some charset, you use translation in utf-8 -
squirrelmail will convert it to utf-8 by default, if charset
decoding functions are present in functions/decode/. Unicode
should cover all characters used in other charsets or these
characters sets use symbols unlisted in unicode (i think, it
can happen only in rarely used Eastern chars).
d) email is written in koi-8r, you use German in iso-8859-1.
if loosy_encoding is enabled and you reply to email - all
Russian texts are converted to question marks.
I think, this is not a bug. SquirrelMail is only using
safer, but broken approach by default. 1.4.5/1.5.1 provide
features that fix this issue.
Maybe rewriting compose code to use Unicode can solve all
encoding issues, but it needs cross browser testing.
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Well I strongly disagree it's not a bug. I use the french
translation - how can I force UTF-8 everywhere ?
(and no question marks is not the "right" thing either)
enable loosy_encoding or change charset used in French
translation (functions/i18n.php and all translation files).
If loosy_encoding is enabled by default, it can strip
unsupported characters. If encoding is not enabled by
default, characters might look garbled. Both ways are
broken. SquirrelMail uses older broken way.
Only SquirrelMail translators can change character set used
with packaged SquirrelMail translations. SquirrelMail
developers are not going to enforce use of Unicode in every
translation. Character set used in every translation can't
be made configurable option, because gettext charset
conversion is not supported in some setups and it would
allow misconfiguration of interface.
I think currently $loosy_encoding = true; is best thing that
you can do for 1.4.x versions. Any other way requires more
experimental or currently unimplemented/untested changes in
If you want to see how everything works in utf-8
translation, test Russian or Lithuanian translations without
locale/ru_RU/ and locale/lt_LT/ files installed. Interface
will remain in English, system will use utf-8. Or set utf-8
in custom_charset plugin. Or set default_charset to utf-8 in
1.4.5rc1/1.5.1cvs and check English translation.
SquirrelMail interface is implemented in html with minimal
php requirements. We can't provide charset selection
features that are supported by standalone email clients,
because it is harder to implement those features in pure
html/php or they might cause more problems than existing
We might solve it by using http-accept attribute in compose
form and rewriting some parts of compose.php code, but these
changes are radical and can cause more problems.
If you know any better way to implement it without
increasing SquirrelMail php requirements, patches are welcome.
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Also see: https://sourceforge.net/tracker/?func=detail&atid=100311&aid=1925044&group_id=311