I ran into a weird bug that took me about 50 test emails to understand. Thunderbird appears to automatically convert your plain-text emails from one character set to another automatically if it detects that there is an incompatible character.
However, the conversion isn't as smooth as it should be. In fact, in my case, all leading spaces in my neatly formatted plain-text format=flowed emails disappear.
Let's try an example. Send an email with a couple of lines and a single "weird" character, like this one:
And what do we get when we send it?
Damn, where are my spaces?
My charset in Thunderbird was configured to
ISO-8859-1, which appears to still be the default. Thunderbird doesn't appear to be willing to change to UTF-8 as a default either, as can be seen by the WONTFIX in this bug.
Behind the scenes Thunderbird sees the "weird" character and changes the character set to a compatible one when sending the email.
This can be seen in my 'Content-Type' header which becomes this:
As you can see, the charset is now changed to 'windows-1252' (instead of the default 'ISO-8859-1'), but my spaces are also gone!!!
Furthermore, if you use utf-8 characters like ←→⇐⇒⇑⇓⇙⇗⇖⇘⇙, which I conveniently have my keyboard setup to use, your email will be converted to 'charset=UTF-8', and you still lose your leading spaces.
My solution is to simply set Thunderbird to always use 'UTF-8'. In Thunderbird this is pretty simple, go to:
Edit→Preferences→Display→Advanced And change outgoing and incoming mails.
If anybody is intested, I filed a bug for this problem https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=979857
Sorry, no comments enabled for now because I'm using a simple static site generator (maybe I'll try out disqus another day).
But if you like what you see, send me an email.