MUA questions

Todd Freedom_Lover at
Wed Feb 4 21:02:57 CET 2004

Hash: SHA1

Atom 'Smasher' wrote:
> does anyone know of a comparative list of mail clients showing how
> they handle:
> * generating inline signatures
> * verifying inline signatures
> * generating attached signatures
> * verifying attached signatures

This might not be as in depth as you want and you might have already
seen it, but there's a section in the GnuPG FAQ titled, "Which
email-client can I use with GnuPG?"  It has links to 2 other resources
that provide similar lists of which MUA's handle what types of PGP

> is it generally considered better etiquette to use an inline or
> attached signature?

That depends on who your recipient(s) is/are.  Sending inline sigs to
a friend who uses Ximian Evolution would be bad, since Evo doesn't do
inline PGP at all anymore (older versions tried but IIRC, it didn't
work very reliably).  Conversely, sending PGP/MIME to Outhouse Express
users won't get you very far either.

Personally, I sign all mail to mailing lists inline, except to the
mutt-users list, where I send PGP/MIME on the assumption that most
folks there are using mutt and can handle that format.  I also
configure my MUA (mutt, if you haven't guessed or looked at the
User-Agent header) to send inline to some recipients and PGP/MIME to
others.  I also have it configured to recognize some other MUA's and
to automatically send replies in the format they can handle.

> which one is considered to be supported most widely [in mail
> clients]?

I don't even think it's a question, inline is more widely supported.
That's unfortunate, as PGP/MIME has the advantage of being defined in
an RFC and can properly deal with all types of mail messages and
formats, whereas inline breaks pretty quickly when you feed it much
more than plain old ASCII.  Inline also doesn't do anything for your
attachments, making your job harder if you want to sign and encrypt a
message to a friend and include an attachment.

> similarly, do any mail clients have a problem with an encrypted
> message body?

If you mean an inline encrypted message body, then yes, Evolution
doesn't handle that.  Perhaps it's not really best described as having
a problem with it, it will display the encrypted message for you just
fine, it just won't help you decrypt it.  I'm guessing you're more
curious to know if any MUA's break or otherwise act badly when they
encounter such messages.  I'm sure there are some, but I've not used
any such MUA's.

Actually, my choice of MUA's has always been guided by the PGP support
they had.  I started off with Netscape 3.0 back when I had PGP with a
plugin from either Viacrypt or Phil's first commercial incarnation of
PGP Inc.  Then I moved to Eudora for a while.  Around that time, I got
sick of Windows and moved to Linux and used Kmail for a while, though
it's lack of support for PGP/MIME led me to try mutt.  I stopped
looking at that point.  Mutt is perfect for my needs.

> sometimes i get an empty body with an encrypted attachment... i find
> it rather annoying and inconvenient.

I would think it would be.  What MUA are you using that does this and
what type of messages do this, inline or PGP/MIME?  Just curious, as
it might help me to avoid sending the wrong kind of message to someone
in the future.  It might also just be a problem with the sender's

- -- 
Todd        OpenPGP -> KeyID: 0xD654075A | URL:
To compel a man to furnish funds for the propagation of ideas he
disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.
    -- Thomas Jefferson

Version: GnuPG v1.2.4 (GNU/Linux)
Comment: When crypto is outlawed bayl bhgynjf jvyy unir cevinpl.


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