[Enigmail] spontaneous change of message status

Philip Jackson philip.jackson at nordnet.fr
Sat Mar 14 17:39:31 CET 2015

On 14/03/15 15:22, Patrick Brunschwig wrote:
> On 13.03.15 20:06, Philip Jackson wrote:
>> 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.
> I still cannot reproduce it. Could you send me a debug log file (menu
> Enigmail > Debugging Options > View Log)?

sent to you at your address.

Apart from the Thunderbird peculiarity of turning the address field red (even
though the address is already in my address book since years), it looks like the
tick box flips from 'sign' to 'encrypt' when Thunderbird auto-saves a copy of
the mail being prepared for sending.

Unless the sender actually clicks on the enigmail button in the enigmail toolbar
and also clicks on ok, this autosave process doesn't actually affect the final
email status when it is sent.  If it was originally 'sign' only, that is the way
it gets sent.  The encrypt only affects the auto-backup, as far as I can tell.

So in practice, it is unlikely to impose any major problem, I would think.


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