[Enigmail] spontaneous change of message status

Philip Jackson philip.jackson at nordnet.fr
Fri Mar 13 20:06:53 CET 2015

On 13/03/15 17:16, Patrick Brunschwig wrote:
> On 13.03.15 15:45, Philip Jackson wrote:
>>>> For this spontaneous change to occur, one needs these factors
>>>> to exist :
>>>> 1. the 'To' field is in red type (with a red cursor) 2. the
>>>> 'To' field must be completed and not left blank 3. the
>>>> spontaneous change in message status occurs around five or six
>>>> minutes into the creation of the email - the body can be blank
>>>> or partly filled.
>>> Could it be triggered by auto-saving a draft message?
>> Thanks Patrick - you're spot on !  After all the years of using it,
>> I didn't even know Thunderbird did periodic backups.  I've never
>> seen a backup directory in the file system nor in the profiles.
>> However, it was doing a backup every 5 minutes.
>> I was rather inexact in the original description above.  Only the
>> different check box is ticked.  The change in the displayed message
>> status and the icons on the enigmail toolbar doesn't happen until I
>> click 'ok'.
>>>> What I don't understand is why sometimes I get a red cursor/
>>>> text in the 'To' field and sometimes black.  I can provoke a
>>>> red address field entry by making any address incomplete but my
>>>> address for enigmail-users seems correct and complete.
>>> That's Thunderbird behavior - nothing Enigmail influences and
>>> nothing Enigmail could do to improve it.
>> True.  But I still don't understand why sometimes Thunderbird
>> considers the To address broken.  The emails always arrive at
>> destination ok.  And it is not consistent for any given address.
>>>> But I do consider that a spontaneous change to established
>>>> message conditions should not occur.
>>> Agreed
>> The change induced by Thunderbird seems to be one way only : sign
>> -> encrypt. It doesn't reverse itself back to 'sign only' after a
>> further backup period. But if you reset to 'sign only', after
>> another backup period, it flips again to encrypt.
> I'm trying to reproduce it, but so far didn't succeed. What are your
> account settings and other rules when this happens?

My account settings on OpenPGP Security : enable PGP support, Use specific PGP
key, sign by default, PGP/MIME by default, sign non encrypted messages, sign
encrypted messages, encrypt draft messages on saving.

Nothing set under account settings Security.

Enigmail preferences / Sending = Convenient encryption settings,
Key Selection : By Per-recipient, By email addresses

For this to happen when writing an email :

1. Thunderbird preferences/Composition/General : check autosave (every 5
minutes), confirm when using keyboard shortcuts, check for missing attachments
2. 'To' field in email must be red.  This happens at random for any given email
address but I can provoke it by breaking the address.  (I assumed the red
indicated that Thunderbird considered the address broken )
3.  The 'To' field must have an entry
4. The enigmail setting for that email must be 'sign only'

Then just sit and wait for five minutes while checking the enigmail toolbar
button from time to time.

Hope this helps,

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