LNH: 58.5#2 (for real)

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Wed Jun 13 01:06:01 PDT 2007

There you go... it's insane... but for future reference, kids, you don't 
want to have ANY non-ascii characters :-) specially if you use equal 
signs for your section breaks.

Dr. Stomper steps in:

"The reason this happens is that, for hysterical raisins, Usenet operates 
on a 7-bit protocol.  So anything non-ascii needs to be somehow encoded.  
The encoding of choice for text is called 'quoted-printable'; it 
basically encodes 'special' characters using an equal sign, and then the 
hex code for the character.  So "e with acute accent", which Lalo used 
for the correct spelling of the word "nee", in the bonus feature, becomes 
'=E9', while a single equal sign becomes '=3D'.

"Where this becomes a problem is; after this first pass, very long lines 
are broken at some reasonable width, and this is marked by preceding the 
line break with a single equal sign -- for the programmer minds, '=\n'.

"Now, count with me.  2 spaces.  29 equal signs.  One dash.  29 equal 
signs.  61 characters.  This encodes to a total of 179 columns, if the 
spaces are *not* encoded as '=20', or 185 if they are.  It will be broken 
3 times, each but the last ending with a '=' sign.

"Bear in mind though, *after* decoding, the whole thing *still* ends with 
an '=' sign.  So if for some reason, the quoted-printable decoder in the 
moderation bot happens to be broken...  you can see where this is going, 
right?  The news->mail gateway seems to have considered all those equal 
signs just a line-break artifact of the encoding; while the moderation 
bot... probably crashed?"

                                               Lalo Martins
      So many of our dreams at first seem impossible,
       then they seem improbable, and then, when we
       summon the will, they soon become inevitable.
personal:                    http://lalo.hystericalraisins.net/
technical:                    http://www.hystericalraisins.net/
GNU: never give up freedom                 http://www.gnu.org/

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