meaning of number of lines in the message (%l in index_format)

Vincent Lefevre vincent at
Sat Jun 22 20:47:42 UTC 2019

The manual says:

%l                                   number of lines in the message
                                     (does not work with maildir, mh,
                                     and possibly IMAP folders)

I think that it should emphasize on the fact that this is the number
of lines in the encoded message. For instance, 8bit and base64 can
give significantly different results (unfortunately some mail software
uses base64 even when 8bit would be sufficient, and this is what
happens with some GNU mailing-list, where the users' messages are
re-encoded in base64). Moreover, one does not have an indication on
what encodings are used.

I think that the manual should say more about these issues.
Perhaps discourage this sequence?

Vincent Lefèvre <vincent at> - Web: <>
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Work: CR INRIA - computer arithmetic / AriC project (LIP, ENS-Lyon)

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