Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Email setup and troubleshooting
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ohnjay
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Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by ohnjay » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:01 pm

I am unable to compose messages in HTML format, even when replying to HTML messages.
.This applies to both exemail and hwebmail.

My options are set to default to HTML.
I have tried three different browsers (Firefox, Chromium and Konqueror, running under OpenSUSE 12.3)
I have cleared cookies & cache.

Any suggestions?

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Dazzled
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by Dazzled » Sun Nov 09, 2014 3:59 pm

I am torn between helping you and pronouncing imprecations! HTML email is a breach of the email standards, and so frowned on by standards compliant systems like Linux. Without HTML messages, we would have many fewer scams, as it's very hard to emulate banks etc in plain text. Most Linux email clients will discourage HTML as strongly as Microsoft pushes it.

That said, it can be done. Either code your HTML by hand, or use one of the many editors (say Seamonkey, which has a section called Composer). There are online helps for creating a document. When finished, view it in the browser. There's virtually no limit on what you can create this way.

Sending it is easiest on the terminal. Several commands. ssmtp might suit, or mailutils or mutt. Check them out and configure whichever you prefer with your smtp server details. Also look at the GUI app, Thunderbird, to send the file you created.

ohnjay
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by ohnjay » Sun Nov 09, 2014 10:55 pm

Dazzled, you've completely missed the point.

I am asking specifically about Exetel's webmail facility, which has an option to compose messages in HTML (without using an external editor).
It should work, but, for me, it doesn't. I would like to find out why.

Whether HTML should be used in email is a different discussion, and is not relevant to the question I have asked.

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Dazzled
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by Dazzled » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:14 am

Sorry about that. I misunderstood you.

HTML composing on Squirrelmail (Exetel has an inappropriate javascript at the front) is handled by a plugin, http://squirrelmail.org/plugin_view.php?id=209, for use with IE and Mozilla. The readme notes are in the linked tarball. I'm not aware how the sysadmin has configured which included engine.

ohnjay
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by ohnjay » Mon Nov 10, 2014 10:34 am

Since my original post I've discovered that there is a difference between the setup of exemail and hwebmail.
I assumed exemail had the same setup options as hwebmail, but although hwebmail has an option to compose in HTML, exemail doesn't.

So, the following applies to hwebmail only.

After some experimentation I've found the following:

When I first log on to hwebmail, HTML composing is not available.
If I go to Options > Display Prefences, check that all HTML options are set, and select Submit, HTML becomes available.
However, If I log off, then log on again, HTML composing is no longer available.
I need to repeat the previous procedure, to restore HTML composing.

I went to a different PC, running a different OS, and found the same situation.
The HTML option works only for the current session, and needs to be re-enabled for each subsequent session.

That's shouldn't happen, but it's not a big deal from my point of view. I can live with it.

But Exetel might want to look at their squirrelmail configuration. Something is awry.

ohnjay
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by ohnjay » Sat Sep 26, 2015 12:57 pm

I've resurrected this old thread because it is directly relevant to a new problem I have with HTML formatting.

Irrespective of standards or good practice, the reality is that almost all commercial and government emails are HTML formatted.

Sometimes I need to forward them to others. That's not a problem when I'm at my desk, but when travelling I use webmail.

Now I can read the emails fine in webmail, but when I need to forward them the formatted content does not appear in the composing window and is not sent to the receiver. Only the raw HTML text appears.

To date I have worked around this by forwarding the emails as attachments. However I have recently discovered that some email clients will not open .eml attachments.

Can Exetel fix this?



.

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Dazzled
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by Dazzled » Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:29 pm

We are back to standards-compliance again. .eml is a Microsoft idea that others haven't adopted. Mpack/munpack solve eml problems on a variety of systems.

Does the line Content-Type: text/html appear in the header when you forward? if not try adding it, as the html code may be present, and the recipient's clients, lacking an instruction, are extracting the text. Sorry I can't try it for you now, as I am away from a suitable machine.

ohnjay
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by ohnjay » Sat Sep 26, 2015 8:01 pm

Dazzled wrote:We are back to standards-compliance again. .eml is a Microsoft idea that others haven't adopted. Mpack/munpack solve eml problems on a variety of systems.

Does the line Content-Type: text/html appear in the header when you forward? if not try adding it, as the html code may be present, and the recipient's clients, lacking an instruction, are extracting the text. Sorry I can't try it for you now, as I am away from a suitable machine.
First, a correction - emails forwarded as attachments are not sent as .eml as I originally said. That was an assumption on my part because I have seen so many done this way. I fact your system sends them as .msg. My apologies for misleading you.

However that does not change the nature of the problem at hand.

This is what appears in the header of a HTML message I received:
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;boundary="----=_20150926190954_47420"
The HTML was displayed correctly.

This is what appeared in the header after it was forwarded:
Content-Type: multipart/mixed;boundary="----=_20150926191132_71056"
HTML formatting was not displayed.

How can I add code to a header before the message is sent?
In any case, why should it be necessary? If the HTML code is received, but isn't being sent with the forwarded message then the content is being altered by your webmail system. That isn't acceptable.

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Dazzled
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by Dazzled » Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:38 pm

It's now a multipart message, see http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc1341/7_2_Multipart.html. The multipart Content-Type should be included.

Re the fudge suggested above- I added a Content-Type: text/html to a Squrrelmail received message and forwarded it, and did the same to the same message in my usual client. Both original html emails when received did display correctly after the standard text forward message. I don't use MS clients, so your mileage may vary.

I also forwarded the same html email via the terminal for the same result. If this fudge isn't ideal for you the solution may be a terminal based one, to receive the message body and resend it.

[edit] It works correctly if you use the forward as an attachment button from Squirrelmail. The result displays as sent.

ohnjay
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by ohnjay » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:41 pm

Dazzled wrote:It's now a multipart message, see http://www.w3.org/Protocols/rfc1341/7_2_Multipart.html. The multipart Content-Type should be included.

Re the fudge suggested above- I added a Content-Type: text/html to a Squrrelmail received message and forwarded it, and did the same to the same message in my usual client. Both original html emails when received did display correctly after the standard text forward message. I don't use MS clients, so your mileage may vary.

I also forwarded the same html email via the terminal for the same result. If this fudge isn't ideal for you the solution may be a terminal based one, to receive the message body and resend it.

[edit] It works correctly if you use the forward as an attachment button from Squirrelmail. The result displays as sent.
I don't use MS clients either. Unfortunately, the majority do.
In any case that isn't relevant. We are talking about what happens in the webmail interface, which should be OS agnostic.
As for forwarding as an attachment, that's the workaround I have been using, and, as I said earlier, some mobile clients (not mine) can't read emails sent as attachments. That was the reason I raised this query.

I've done some more experimenting with this and I have found that this can also be got around if I resubmit the Options - Display Preferences each time I log on. Below is a screenshot of the relevant section.
snapshot4.png
snapshot4.png (32.23 KiB) Viewed 2929 times
It looks like these options are not reloaded when the webmail screen is first opened, but can be activated by opening the Options - Display Preferences and submitting. Then HTML forwarding works, until the next time.

So it seems to me that it is a Squirrel configuration issue.

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angelos
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by angelos » Mon Sep 28, 2015 11:37 am

ohnjay wrote:So it seems to me that it is a Squirrel configuration issue.
I have forwarded this query to our sysadmins. We will get back to you when we get an update in this regard. Ticket ID : 9476052

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angelos
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Re: Webmail - composing HTML formatted messages.

Post by angelos » Tue Sep 29, 2015 11:24 am

Just got word that this issue cannot be replicated. I tried creating a test account from your domain and I tried to replicate the issue, but was unable to see the same. The changes get saved correctly.

Please try a different browser and check if the issue persists.

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