More Mail.app/Exchange Oddities


Dear Auntie Lazyweb,

I have an extremely irritating issue with Mail.app every time I try to access our Exchange server via UMTS: it makes an utter mess out of parsing e-mail addresses.

You see, Auntie, our corporate directory lists people in Last, First format, and that's what gets sent in the e-mail headers:

From: "Last, First, Country" <[email protected]>
To: "AnotherLast, AnotherFirst, SomewhereElse" <[email protected]>

Of course, Auntie, sometimes we have to use accented characters to send electronic postage to our colleagues with funny-sounding foreign names, and that gets encoded in UTF-8 or ISO-8859-1 format like so:

From: iso-8859-1?Q?Last=2C_First=2C_Country?= <[email protected]>
To: =?utf-8?B?garblegarblegarble=?= <[email protected]>

And the trouble is, Auntie, that Mail.app, like that little puppy you gave me for my birthday (you know, the cute, funny and extremely dumb one that tried to chase a bus going the wrong way), goes out and gleefully mis-decodes and parses every comma-separated portion individually, which means that if I hit "Reply" I end up addressing the message to someone called First, someone called Last and someone called Country - and only Country has a valid e-mail address.

Now, I would expect this to be configurable someplace (and separators tend to be a common localization parameter), but I cannot find any setting in either Mail.app or the International preference pane that would let me teach Mail.app how to stop this utter idiocy.

As it is, Auntie, my next electronic letter to you will probably be written in Thunderbird 1.5, which has, in turn, apparently stopped doing a lot of its own idiocies and will be out of beta soon.

Either that or I will have another go at Entourage, which sucks but at least knows how to do calendaring and goes a bit further than Mail.app's marketing-bullet-but-utterly-useless Exchange support.

I hope Uncle Steve is doing well, and that he's having fun with his nano - I had always wondered what the small pocket in my jeans was for, and think it was very clever of him to go back in time with Michael J. Fox and lobby jeans manufacturers to include it.

Let me know what you two think of this Mail.app bug, and whether or not I should file it on Radar by Friday.

If you have any fix, let me know - and, by the way, the last cranberry pie you sent was delicious.

Your Loving Nephew,

Rui.