Subject field corruption

John Alton Tamplin jtampli at
Thu Jun 5 13:20:12 EDT 2003

NOwlar wrote:

>I use Postfix 2.0.10 with TLS patch, cyrus-imapd 2.1.13, sasl 2.1.13
>The problem is as follow:
>When a message with russian charset characters (KOI8-R, WIN1251) in Subject
>field arrives or is moved into the Sent Items folders by Outlook Express,
>each russian character is replaced by an X (ex: Re: XXXX XXXX mazda 626
>XXXX). I happens only when the Subject field is without charaterset
>I dumped mailboxes with cyrdump, the Xes are in.
>What can be wrog?
The problem is that 8-bit characters are not allowed in the header of an 
RFC822 message.  There are extensions designed to allow 8-bit 
characters, by encoding the character set and a base64 or 
quoted-printable representation of them.  The problem is that Cyrus 
cannot properly transform these messages to standards compliance since 
it cannot know what character set was used, only that it wasn't 
US-ASCII, so Cyrus chooses to either drop the message or replace all 
8-bit characters with X depending on a configuration setting.  There was 
some discussion of hacking Cyrus to allow an administrator-supplied 
default character set in the case of 8-bit data without a character set, 
but the consensus of the developers seemed to be that was more an MTA 
function than Cyrus, and nobody felt like doing a hack that would not be 
accepted into the official source.

John A. Tamplin                               Unix System Administrator
Emory University, School of Public Health     +1 404/727-9931

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