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Poco Forums • View topic - Empty Space - Blank Lines [mod: moved]

Empty Space - Blank Lines [mod: moved]

Help and advice on using PocoMail

Moderators: Eric, Tomas, robin

Postby Pete » Thu Dec 09, 2004 5:21 am

ambkla wrote:The original poster was copying PM mail text into MS Word.

Boy, I really put my foot in my mouth in this topic, didn't I. That's what I get for trying to correct other people. :oops: :)
My apologies to the other posters.


The PM new message creator window does some strange things [...]. The text in PM is one block but after pasting there are 3 or 4 blank lines with nothing but white space between each text line.

Although I cannot reproduce this with the "new message creator window", I can reproduce it when copying text from the Preview Pane to the clipboard. In fact, if you're talking about the preview pane (or the window that you see when you double-click a received or sent message), then I entered a bug report for this seven months ago (#1050).


Right now, PM writes the font style for each single line even though the line does not contain any text at all. This results in e-mails with a file size much larger than necessary.

I've complained about this in the past, but it's not currently a problem for me because I use a script in my Outgoing filters that cleans up PocoMail's HTML in the ways that I want. An important point is that PocoMail adds a CSS section to the beginning of outgoing Styled messages, so it seems that PM could easily only specify the font info once in the CSS section instead of with every paragraph of the message.
Pete
 

Postby Hogyt » Thu Dec 09, 2004 10:17 am

Pete wrote:Although I cannot reproduce this with the "new message creator window", I can reproduce it when copying text from the Preview Pane to the clipboard. In fact, if you're talking about the preview pane (or the window that you see when you double-click a received or sent message), then I entered a bug report for this seven months ago (#1050).

Pete, are you sure this is a bug with PocoMail and not standard Windows behaviour of inserting blank lines when converting html paragraph tags to plain text?
Mat
Hogyt
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Posts: 241
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Location: England

Postby Pete » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:25 am

Well Mat, after some more investigation, it appears that you are mostly correct except that I don't think that Windows is directly causing the problem. It appears that the problem is not simply the result of copying HTML-based text to the clipboard, but rather it appears that the problem is in the HTML that PocoMail uses in its Styled messages.

Outlook Express' HTML messages do not have this problem when copying text to the clipboard. In fact, here's what I did. I sent myself one HTML message using OE and another using PM. I downloaded both messages into both clients. I copied the text from all four of the messages to the clipboard, one at a time. Both clients added extra blank lines when I copied text from the message that I sent from PM. Neither client added extra blank lines when I copied text from the message that I sent from OE.

FYI, here's the Body section of the HTML that PocoMail created for my test message:
Code: Select all
<BODY BGCOLOR=3D"#F0F0F0" ><p><SPAN style=3D"font-family:'Courier=
 New';font-size:12pt;">one</SPAN></p>
<p><SPAN style=3D"font-family:'Courier New';font-size:12pt;">two</SPAN></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><SPAN style=3D"font-family:'Courier New';font-size:12pt;">three</SPAN></p>
<p><SPAN style=3D"font-family:'Courier New';font-size:12pt;">four</SPAN></p>
</body>


and here's the Body section for OE:
Code: Select all
<BODY bgColor=3D#c0c0c0>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>one</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>two</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2></FONT>&nbsp;</DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>three</FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT size=3D2>four</FONT></DIV></BODY>


Obviously, they're using completely different constructs for their HTML messages. I don't know why PocoMail's format is so different, but unless there are compelling reasons to keep the current format, I would like to see PSI change it to solve this problem.
Pete
 

Postby Hogyt » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:32 am

Hi Pete,

It's the paragraph tags in the PocoMail email. The extra spaces happen if you copy from html using <p> tags in web pages or in other email clients too. Use shift+return to create a line break in PocoMail instead of return when composing email and the problem will go away :D
Mat
Hogyt
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Posts: 241
Joined: Thu Jul 29, 2004 11:22 am
Location: England

Postby Pete » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:54 am

Yes Mat, but I don't want to press Shift-Enter to go to the beginning of the next line. I believe that it's unnecessary for PocoMail to force us to do this. And as you said, it's not documented behavior and it's unlikely that anyone but computer experts would ever figure out that they have to press Shift-Enter in their email program when they want to start a new line.

I understand that programs like DreamWeaver invented the Enter versus Shift-Enter thing, but at least DreamWeaver shows you the blank lines that it adds. PocoMail "hides it" and you don't see the effect until you read the message in another email client or try to copy and paste text.
Pete
 

Postby Hogyt » Sat Dec 11, 2004 7:57 am

Ok we're on the same wavelength ;-) And i agree with you 110%! :D
Mat
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Postby Pete » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:12 am

I've just updated my script that cleans Pocomail's HTML in outgoing Styled messages. I run it from an Outgoing filter. I'll post the script in the PocoScript forum if anyone asks.

It changes the following things:

  • Increases the bottom margin of list elements so that there's more vertical space between bulleted and numbered paragraphs. This is useful because (as far as I know) there isn't a way to do this while composing a message.
  • Changes all occurrences of the shifted-space character (0xA0 and &#160 ;) to a normal space (if a plaintext message) or to &nbsp; (if a styled message). One example of why it's bad for email clients to hardcode 0xA0 or &#160 ; is that it's not compatible with everyone's character sets. On a Macintosh computer, for example, this character displays as a religious cross.
  • Removes all occurrences of your default font size. This is nice for your correspondents who use a larger or smaller display resolution than you. When they read the message, they'll see the text in their own default font size instead of yours.
  • Removes all occurrences of your default font family except for the instance in the CSS section.
  • Removes the class attributes in tags such as <p class="body"...> and <p class="p"...>
  • Changes blank lines from <p>&nbsp;</p> to <br>.
  • Changes all occurrences of <p>...</p> to ...<br> except for tags like <p somethingHere >...</p>
  • Automatically uses italics for quoted text (only tested with the QuoteBar and only implemented for a quote character of >).
  • Changes all occurrences of <hr> (that you have typed) to real horizontal rules. You cannot put any attributes after the hr. The script creates it left-aligned and with a width of 25%

In addition, these changes (1) fix the problem with extra blank lines when copying to the clipboard or viewing it as plaintext in other situations, and (2) fix the problem where Pocomail "eats" the first blank line that you put after text quoted from the QuoteBar.

Also, I'll give you a "before and after" example to show how the HTML can look clean and simple. Given this text:
Code: Select all
This is line one.

This is line three.  Here's another sentence.


Here's the HTML body before the script runs:
Code: Select all
<p><SPAN style="font-family:'Courier
 New';font-size:12pt;">This is line one.</SPAN></p>
<p>&nbsp;</p>
<p><SPAN style"font-family:'Courier New';font-size:12pt;">This is line
 three. &#160 ;Here's another sentence.</SPAN></p>


And here's the HTML body after the script runs:
Code: Select all
This is line one.<br>
<br>
This is line three. &nbsp;Here's another sentence.<br>
Last edited by Pete on Sat Dec 25, 2004 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
Pete
 

Postby darrellb » Thu Dec 23, 2004 9:48 am

Pete wrote:I've just updated my script that cleans Pocomail's HTML in outgoing Styled messages. I run it from an Outgoing filter. I'll post the script in the PocoScript forum if anyone asks.


I'm asking. :)
darrellb
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Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 11:14 am
Location: Rider Nation, Canada

Postby Pete » Thu Dec 23, 2004 11:54 am

Okay great, but I want to make it a little more "user-friendly" and I should be ready to post it on Friday sometime.
Pete
 

Postby Pete » Sat Dec 25, 2004 6:54 am

Pete
 

Postby Slaven » Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:00 am

Just an update: we have a beta build that contains changes to address the double-spaced lines problem. It is now posted in the Poco Beta forum.
Slaven Radic
Poco Systems Inc
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