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Title: Unicode names break email header
Type: behavior Stage: resolved
Components: email Versions: Python 3.8, Python 3.7
Status: closed Resolution: fixed
Dependencies: Superseder:
Assigned To: Nosy List: Celelibi, _savage, barry, cheryl.sabella, michael.thies, miss-islington, r.david.murray
Priority: normal Keywords: patch

Created on 2018-08-17 23:02 by _savage, last changed 2022-04-11 14:59 by admin. This issue is now closed.

Pull Requests
URL Status Linked Edit
PR 8803 merged python-dev, 2018-08-18 04:56
PR 13302 merged miss-islington, 2019-05-14 01:45
Messages (13)
msg323686 - (view) Author: Jens Troeger (_savage) * Date: 2018-08-17 23:02
See also this comment and ensuing conversation:

Consider an email message with the following:

message = EmailMessage()
message["From"] = Address(addr_spec="", display_name="Jens Troeger")
message["To"] = Address(addr_spec="", display_name="Martín Córdoba")

It’s important here that the email itself is `ascii` encodable, but the names are not. Flattening the object ( incorrectly inserts multiple linefeeds, thus breaking the email header, thus mangling the entire email:

flatmsg: b'From: Jens Troeger <>\r\nTo: Fernando =?utf-8?q?Mart=C3=ADn_C=C3=B3rdoba?= <>\r\r\r\r\r\nSubject:\r\n Confirmation: …\r\n…'

After an initial investigation into the BytesGenerator (used to flatten an EmailMessage object), here is what’s happening.

Flattening the body and attachments of the EmailMessage object works, and eventually _write_headers() is called to flatten the headers which happens entry by entry ( Flattening a header entry is a recursive process over the parse tree of the entry, which builds the flattened and encoded final string by descending into the parse tree and encoding & concatenating the individual “parts” (tokens of the header entry).

Given the parse tree for a header entry like "Martín Córdoba <>" eventually results in the correct flattened string:

    '=?utf-8?q?Mart=C3=ADn_C=C3=B3rdoba?= <>\r\n'

at the bottom of the recursion for this “Mailbox” part. The recursive callstack is then:

    fold [Mailbox]
    fold [Address]
    fold [AddressList]
    fold [Header]
    fold [_UniqueAddressHeader]
    _fold [EmailPolicy]
    fold_binary [EmailPolicy]
    _write_headers [BytesGenerator]
    _write [BytesGenerator]

The problem now arises from the interplay of 

    encoded_part = part.fold(policy=policy)[:-1] # strip nl

which strips the '\n' from the returned string, and

    return policy.linesep.join(lines) + policy.linesep

which adds the policy’s line separation string linesep="\r\n" to the end of the flattened string upon unrolling the recursion.

I am not sure about a proper fix here, but considering that the linesep policy can be any string length (in this case len("\r\n") == 2) a fixed truncation of one character [:-1] seems wrong. Instead, using:

    encoded_part = part.fold(policy=policy)[:-len(policy.linesep)] # strip nl

seems to work for entries with and without Unicode characters in their display names.
msg323691 - (view) Author: Jens Troeger (_savage) * Date: 2018-08-18 05:08
Pull request
msg328381 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-10-24 17:07
I've requested some small changes on the PR.  If Jens doesn't respond in another week or so someone else could pick it up.
msg328382 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2018-10-24 17:10
Michael, if you could check if Jens patch fixes your problem I would appreciate it.
msg328425 - (view) Author: Michael Thies (michael.thies) Date: 2018-10-25 10:46
Thanks for pointing me to this issue. :)

> Michael, if you could check if Jens patch fixes your problem I would appreciate it.

Jens PR does exactly, what I proposed in #35057, so it fixes my problem, indeed.
msg334096 - (view) Author: Jens Troeger (_savage) * Date: 2019-01-20 18:22
Can somebody please review and merge ? I am still waiting for this fix the become mainstream.
msg342315 - (view) Author: Cheryl Sabella (cheryl.sabella) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-13 12:41
This looks like it was just pending final approval after changes.  Please let me know if I can help move it along.  Thanks!
msg342388 - (view) Author: Jens Troeger (_savage) * Date: 2019-05-13 21:25
Cheryl, if you can find somebody to approve and merge this fix, that would be greatly appreciated! Anything I can do,  please let me know.
msg342409 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-14 01:07
New changeset 45b2f8893c1b7ab3b3981a966f82e42beea82106 by R. David Murray (Jens Troeger) in branch 'master':
bpo-34424: Handle different policy.linesep lengths correctly. (#8803)
msg342411 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-14 01:13
Approved and merged.  Cheryl, can you shepherd this through the backport process, please? I'm contributing infrequently enough that I'm not even sure which version we are on :)
msg342416 - (view) Author: Cheryl Sabella (cheryl.sabella) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-14 01:54

Thank you for the review and merging into master!  I'd be glad to backport this.  I believe the only backport would be to 3.7 (master is currently 3.8), but please let me know if it would need to go into a security branch.
msg342418 - (view) Author: miss-islington (miss-islington) Date: 2019-05-14 02:02
New changeset c0abd0c8e9b62bc008fc74cfbfbbab36ef7d7617 by Miss Islington (bot) in branch '3.7':
bpo-34424: Handle different policy.linesep lengths correctly. (GH-8803)
msg342469 - (view) Author: R. David Murray (r.david.murray) * (Python committer) Date: 2019-05-14 14:36
Thank you.  I don't believe this is a security issue.
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:59:04adminsetgithub: 78605
2019-07-13 14:36:15SilentGhostlinkissue37572 superseder
2019-05-14 14:36:45r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg342469
2019-05-14 02:04:55cheryl.sabellasetstatus: open -> closed
stage: patch review -> resolved
resolution: fixed
versions: + Python 3.7
2019-05-14 02:02:50miss-islingtonsetnosy: + miss-islington
messages: + msg342418
2019-05-14 01:54:19cheryl.sabellasetmessages: + msg342416
2019-05-14 01:45:27miss-islingtonsetpull_requests: + pull_request13213
2019-05-14 01:13:49r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg342411
2019-05-14 01:07:49r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg342409
2019-05-13 21:25:36_savagesetmessages: + msg342388
2019-05-13 12:41:35cheryl.sabellasetnosy: + cheryl.sabella

messages: + msg342315
versions: + Python 3.8, - Python 3.7
2019-02-10 02:37:38Celelibisetnosy: + Celelibi
2019-01-20 18:22:25_savagesetmessages: + msg334096
2018-10-25 10:46:11michael.thiessetmessages: + msg328425
2018-10-24 17:10:07r.david.murraysetnosy: + michael.thies
messages: + msg328382
2018-10-24 17:07:59r.david.murraysetmessages: + msg328381
2018-08-18 05:08:14_savagesetmessages: + msg323691
2018-08-18 04:56:44python-devsetkeywords: + patch
stage: patch review
pull_requests: + pull_request8279
2018-08-17 23:02:02_savagecreate