[Enigmail] spontaneous change of message status

Matthew Woehlke mw_triad at users.sourceforge.net
Fri Mar 13 17:11:49 CET 2015

On 2015-03-13 10:45, Philip Jackson wrote:
> On 13/03/15 08:28, Patrick Brunschwig wrote:
>> On 12.03.15 20:38, Philip Jackson wrote:
>>> Using Thunderbird 31.5.0 with Enigmail version 1.8a1pre
>>> (20150312-0013) on linux.
>>> <snip>
>>> 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.

(Draft mails go in a local "drafts" folder that presumably is stored the
same way as any other mail folder. You can also view the folder from
within TB, same as any other.)

> Further testing shows pretty well that the automatic backup is linked with a
> change in the settings in the "Enigmail Encryption and Settings" dialog box.
> Prior to the backup interval, only the sign check box was ticked.  After the
> backup interval, the encrypt box was ticked and the sign box was blank.

The message becoming encrypted may be a symptom of drafts being saved
encrypted. This *ought* to be decoupled from whether or not the message
is ultimately *sent* encrypted, but I'd believe a bug exists here.

I might also believe that signing is the same way; probably the draft is
not signed (that seems rather silly, after all). Again, this *ought* to
be decoupled from how the message is finally sent, but...

> 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.

That isn't surprising if what's happening is the settings for how the
draft is saved are overwriting how you've asked the mail to be sent...


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