"Copy" in KMail picks up HTML formatting

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Wed Mar 2 09:02:01 GMT 2011

John Phillips posted on Wed, 02 Mar 2011 13:51:08 +1100 as excerpted:

> Running KMail 1.13.5 on Ubuntu 10.04.
> Ctrl C (copy) of part of an email picks up also the HTML formatting; 
> even when I copy an address and paste it into a filter.
> Never seen this happen elsewhere;  how do I just copy the plain text?

This has been reported in previous threads and is obviously a bug, but one 
that doesn't affect everyone.  Here on Gentoo ~amd64, for instance, I've 
run every version of kde-4.x.y (with the exception of the last 4.5.y 
version, which I skipped, updating directly to 4.6.0 when it came out) 
since kde 4.2.4, with kmail as my regular mail client and have never seen 
this problem.

My take on the issue is that it's likely something to do with interplay 
between specific versions of kdelibs, kdepim (which includes kmail, 
kaddressbook, etc), and akonadi.  The problem is that kmail was initially 
supposed to transfer to using akonadi with 4.5.0, but it was deemed not 
yet ready (various commentary about the kdepim/kmail folks learning from 
the mistakes of the early kde4 releases, deemed far more ready for normal 
use by kde than the community in general, explicitly mentioned here but 
otherwise skipped), so since then, the stable kdepim release has stuck 
with the 4.4.x series and is now (as of a few days ago anyway) at 4.4.10, 
with all kdepim 4.5s and the current 4.6.0 not yet considered stable, 
while the rest of kde has continued the normal six-month feature monthly 
bugfix release cycle and is now on 4.6.0 (with 4.6.1 due...).

Due to different stabilization cycles of the various distributions, it has 
thus been possible for various kde 4.5s (and now 4.6s) to be matched up to 
various kdepim 4.4.y (with y>=6, given 4.4.6 was the last unified kde/
kdepim release).  I'm guessing that whatever combination you have, 
triggers the bug, while I've always kept very close to the latest release 
(kdelibs 4.6.0, kdepim 4.4.10) on all the packages I have installed, which 
will be better tested together and haven't seemed to exhibit this bug.

Throw in the akonadi and various other support library versions as 
additional variables, and the number of permutations grows exponentially.  
Again, as I run Gentoo ~arch, I tend to be reasonably close to the leading 
edge on everything, while by definition, the six-month stable releases of 
the various binary distributions are already several months behind the 
latest releases of various components, at distribution release, due to the 
testing and integration time required for the distribution.  Evidently, 
some mix of those, or possibly but not /as/ likely, a distribution patch 
added to one of those packages (or possibly a preventative patch added by 
Gentoo stopping it here), triggers the bug, so staying up with the latest 
as I try to do could well explain why I've never seen this bug, despite 
using the software quite regularly.

Just my theory, but it matches the evidence available.

But as I said, you're not the first to report it, so you're not alone in 
seeing the problem.  Check earlier threads here and on the kde-linux list 
(the two kde lists I subscribe to so where I'd have seen them), if you're 
interested in the other reports.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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