Gmail corrupting spaces in plain-text mail?

Dave Martin dave.martin at
Wed Mar 21 15:55:28 UTC 2012

Hi all,

Does anybody know how to stop the Gmail webmail frontend from corrupting sequences of space characters in preformatted text?

When replying to a plaintext mail, Gmail seems to turn every second space into an ISO8859-1/Unicode non-breaking space character (U00A0).  This seems to be a workaround for broken mail readers which would incorrectly collapse spaces in implicitly fixed-format text in received messages.  Unfortunately, it's also an effective workaround for correct behaviour by properly-implemented mail clients.  Direct replies via SMTP to don't get destroyed in this way, unless a broken client is used is used to generate the reply.

This seems to be the cause behind patch discussion threads turning, sooner or later, into a mass of ? characters (this is what some agents like Mutt squash non-ascii characters to when quoting the original message in ascii plaintext replies -- this compounds the problem but is not the root cause -- the text is already badly damaged by this stage).


Apart from "never reply to patches via webmail", does anyone know a workaround?


----- Forwarded message from Dave Martin <dave.martin at> -----

MIME-Version: 1.0
Received: by with HTTP; Wed, 21 Mar 2012 08:31:28 -0700 (PDT)
In-Reply-To: <20120321153006.GA2064 at>
References: <20120321153006.GA2064 at>
Date: Wed, 21 Mar 2012 15:31:28 +0000
Delivered-To: dave.martin at
Message-ID: <CA+wbFdezDj3J8zsUMjZ4bky6C6dHdGJVnAwxFDfiN7-JKrsPdA at>
Subject: Re: Gmail test
From: Dave Martin <dave.martin at>
To: Dave Martin <dave.martin at>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Can Gmail do it ... ??
Come on!

On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 3:30 PM, Dave Martin <dave.martin at> wrote:
> two  spaces
> preformatted
>  text
>    is a pain

Dave Martin <dave.martin at>
Linaro Kernel Working Group

-- -- Open source software for ARM SoCs!/linaroorg

----- End forwarded message -----

More information about the linaro-dev mailing list