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Apple Mail — Again?

Stupidity of this caliber takes talent.

Mark Pilgrim got out. He ran for it. One program scared him more than all the rest.


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Tiger's Apple Mail really freaked Mark Pilgrim out. Proprietary formats, disappearing mail, disappearing mailboxes - the list is endless. For a killer app once all but flaw free.

Tiger's Apple Mail is certainly known for having its share of inexcusable bugs - in some cases really bad bugs dating back several years already. To the point people are wondering can Apple - or the Apple Mail team - have any desire at all to fix them. Or if people are going to be stuck with crippled functionality.

Now to add insult to injury it's become known Tiger's Apple Mail stores plain text mail as good old HTML cruft - even if you the user explicitly request to deal solely in plain text.

It's easy to demonstrate. Fire up a Panther system, start a new message within Apple Mail, type in something trivial, save the message as a draft, and then hit ⌥⌘U to see the raw code.

Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v624)
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain
X-Apple-Mail-Signature:

This text created by Apple Mail for Panther.

Now fire up a good old Tiger box and do the same thing.

Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v752.3)
X-Apple-Mail-Remote-Attachments: NO
X-Apple-Mail-Signature:
Content-Type: text/html;
   charset=US-ASCII
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Apple-Windows-Friendly: 1
X-Apple-Base-Url: x-msg://6/

<HTML><BODY style="word-wrap: break-word; -khtml-nbsp-mode: space; -khtml-line-break: after-white-space; " class="ApplePlainTextBody">This text created by Apple Mail for Tiger.</BODY></HTML>

Note the daring attribute 'X-Apple-Windows-Friendly'. Seemingly the hype isn't just to comfort the beige box graybeards after all - there are actually people hiding away in Bloopertino who believe that rubbish.

This isn't a case of bad or bugged code - as with so many issues Apple users have grieved over these past two years it's about poor design decisions and extremely poor judgement.

Was the dog involved?

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