Gmail corrupting spaces in plain-text mail?

Dave Martin dave.martin at
Thu Mar 22 19:31:54 UTC 2012

On Thu, Mar 22, 2012 at 09:18:36AM -0600, Joey STANFORD wrote:
> I did actually. If anyone has any examples of the "plague of question
> marks" that we think are caused by this, let me know and I'll add it
> to the case.

Now I've had a chance to look into this, it seems that the plague of
question marks actually seems to arise out of an interaction between
Mutt and my unusual locale settings.  Basically if your locale settings
don't support the no-breaking space character then Mutt when quoting
text for replies will default to a charset which doesn't have it, and
will replace all non-representable characters with ?

So, it seems that this should only affect people whose mail client
settings exclude modern charsets like ISO-8859-n and UTF-8 (in my case,
this was an unintentional side-effect).

The way Gmail munges the whitespace in replies still feels wrong, but I
can avoid the worst of the consequences with a local workaround to my
Mutt config.  This may affect a few other people out there with unusual
settings, but not very many.

I think the "don't reply to patches via Gmail" is still good advice to
follow most of the time, but it looks a bit less critical than I
initially thought.


More information about the linaro-dev mailing list