[Evolution] Email fonts and formatting and displays Oh, My!

On Mon, 2012-03-19 at 15:25 +0000, evolution-list-request gnome org wrote:
Message: 2
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2012 14:13:52 +0000
From: Pete Biggs <pete biggs org uk>
To: evolution-list gnome org
Subject: Re: [Evolution] How to display an email in a fixed-width
Message-ID: <1332166432 15685 33 camel snoopy chem ox ac uk>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"

The fixed width font is used to display plain text emails - i.e. those
with either no content type or a content type of text/plain.  HTML
emails (i.e. those with a content type of text/html) will be displayed
using the proportional font (unless the HTML says otherwise).

If you have multipart/alternative encoding, then by default the most
content rich version possible will be displayed.

There is a plugin called "Prefer Plain Text" - if this is enabled, then
with a multipart/alternative email the text/plain version, if it exists,
will be chosen in preference to the text/html version.

As far as I know though, there is no way of choosing the version
displayed on a per-message basis, nor is there a way of forcing the
displayed text to be fixed-pitch.

With the above posting as a backdrop, can someone tell me where to find a discussion
of the whole email file format, content display, "envelop" and related family of issues?

I routinely have troubles with email sent through various clients or servers -- typically MAC or
Win-dose but there are others -- where I cannot see attachments or a "conversation" of
messages [aka, {message} {reply}...{reply}... {quoted}...{forward}...ad lib] is only
partially readable if at all.

I know that "rich text" and "web page" formatting adds lumps and wrinkles to how things
work, but I'm hoping that someone has read all of the gnarly bits (sic) and written
a summary for mortals to learn from.

~~~ 0;-Dan

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