#2692 Problems with mutated vowels äöüÄÖÜ in german emails


In incoming emails some of the subjects have no correct äöüÄÖÜ.
Example: "Weihnachtsgrüße" instead of "Weihnachtsgrüße"
And when i try to answer an email all äöüÄÖÜ will be converted to rubbish, even if they are displayed correct showing the email.
After clicking "answer" they will be converted wrong.

It seems that this is a problem when no charset is declared in the email.
This problem exists since i am using Squirrelmail.

I already tried out everything!
* I installed the locales shipped with Squirrelmail.
* I tried out every locales on the server.
* I tried out every combination of locales on server, apache, squirrelmail
Nothing helps. :-(

Why it works in Thunderbird using the same IMAP-Server?
The charset is detected correct every time.


  • Tomas Kuliavas

    Tomas Kuliavas - 2010-03-15

    If no charset is declared in email, then fix email client which does that. email without charset information should be in ascii and not in utf-8.

    If email is displayed correctly and breaks only on reply or forward, then charset is declared in that email and you should enable lossy encoding in SquirrelMail configuration or switch translation to utf-8. German translation is in iso-8859-1 and this charset does not cover all symbols supported by utf-8. SquirrelMail does not do lossy character conversions by default. utf-8 to iso-8859-1 conversion is lossy. Some conversions might be safe, but SquirrelMail does not check it.

  • lsmod

    lsmod - 2010-03-18

    Yes - that's exactly what i want: Please fix the email client! :-)
    How should i have influence on the clients of other people?
    I can only say that there is no problem with the same mailserver using Thunderbird.

    Of course lossy encoding is already enabled - but this seems not fix the problem.
    So Squirelmail is only partial usable for german users?

  • Tomas Kuliavas

    Tomas Kuliavas - 2010-04-05

    SquirrelMail is not broken. Fix email client which sends that broken email.

    If SquirrelMail can display email correctly, but reply or forward work then way you say (display = "Weihnachtsgrüße", reply = "Weihnachtsgrüße"), you haven't enabled lossy encoding.

    If SquirrelMail can't display email correctly, then email is not formated correctly or IMAP server fails to parse email structure correctly.

    Please attach sample email to this tracker and name IMAP server you are using.

  • Tomas Kuliavas

    Tomas Kuliavas - 2010-04-05

    Some header formats can't be displayed by SquirrelMail correctly, but it is impossible to say that you hit that particular and rare case without seeing your email.

    The fact that Thunderbird can display email correctly does not matter. Thunderbird does not depend on IMAP server the way SquirrelMail does and it has defaults, that don't follow IMAP/MIME specifications.

  • lsmod

    lsmod - 2010-04-08
  • lsmod

    lsmod - 2010-04-08

    First thank you for your close look at this problem!

    Again i checked the details.
    Here the settings from the config for Squirrelmail:

    $squirrelmail_default_language = 'de_DE';
    $default_charset = 'ISO-8859-1';
    $lossy_encoding = true;

    Most of the emails with broken vowels are coming from webmailer written in Java.

    I have a good example email - it is the notification for this problem report.
    When i look at this email the vowels are broken.
    In the summary and also when i try to answer the email.
    You can see it in the screenshots "squirrel" in vowels.zip

    In the time between i installed roundcube in parallel.
    Here you can see that the vowels are shown correct.

    I also found the corresponding file on my mailserver (1270454715.H551142P19849).
    You can see that the vowels are correct in the file.

    As IMAP-Server i am running Dovecot V 1.0.8.
    Do you think it would help to update to V 1.2.11 ?

  • lsmod

    lsmod - 2010-04-08

    Here i have another example email send by ebay.
    This email is encoded in Cp1252 and the vowels in the subject are not shown correct in Squirrelmail and Roundcube.

    I think in this case the vowels in the subject are not converted correct.

    But the vowels in the body are shown correct.
    When i look at the last sentence i see:
    Herzlichen Glückwunsch, der Artikel gehört Ihnen!

    Here the shorted file from the mailserver:


    Return-path: <ebay@ebay.de>
    Envelope-to: mymail.de
    Delivery-date: Sun, 04 Apr 2010 17:02:09 +0200
    Received: from localhost
    ([] helo=mymail.de ident=fetchmail)
    by mymail.de with esmtp (Exim 4.63)
    (envelope-from <ebay@ebay.de>)
    id 1NyRKf-0004Q6-5y


    Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2010 08:01:19 -0700 (MST)
    From: eBay <ebay@ebay.de>
    Reply-To: ebay@ebay.de
    To: ebay@relais.de
    Mime-Version: 1.0
    Content-Type: text/plain; charset=Cp1252
    Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable


    Subject: Herzlichen Glückwunsch, der Artikel XXX gehört Ihnen!
    X-Delivered-To: me@mymail.de (me@mymail.de)
    X-Message-Age: 20

    Herzlichen Gl=FCckwunsch, der Artikel geh=F6rt Ihnen!

  • Tomas Kuliavas

    Tomas Kuliavas - 2010-04-08

    Filed bug report on sourceforge bug tracker. https://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/sourceforge/ticket/10119

    Upgrade to newer dovecot version won't fix it.

    If somebody sends you email with 8bit headers like sourceforge does in your sample email, contact them and ask to fix their stuff. There are many ways to write those letters and SquirrelMail can't tell which way is used, if email sender does not say it by correctly encoding headers.

    email can be displayed correctly in any webmail client that uses utf-8 and does not clean 8bit symbols from email headers. But these webmails will have problems, when some violator uses 8bit iso-8859-1 texts in headers.

    The only way of fixing this problem is to force standard violators to fix their stuff. If you create workarounds for their stuff, they will continue to break standards.

  • lsmod

    lsmod - 2010-04-08

    I agree that it would be the best if anyone will respect the defined standards.
    But i am afraid that's impossible like a global peace on earth. :-)

    So we always need workarounds to solve the problems.
    And internationalization is a good business for much companies and many people working in software solutions.
    Nobody of them is really interested to stop this.

  • Tomas Kuliavas

    Tomas Kuliavas - 2010-04-08

    you are lucky. You have iso-8859-1/iso-8859-15/windows-1252 and utf-8. Others are not that lucky and must choose between three or more distant character sets.

    I am not SquirrelMail developer. If they find some solution for your problem, good luck for them. My attitude to these and other MIME violations will be "fix broken stuff and don't introduce workarounds in standard complaint stuff". If you let someone bite your finger, they will eat your arm.


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