Option to ignore "winmail.dat" attachments.

NEW
Unassigned

Status

Thunderbird
General
--
enhancement
12 years ago
5 years ago

People

(Reporter: Stephen Lee, Unassigned)

Tracking

x86
Windows XP

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

(Reporter)

Description

12 years ago
Under certain environments (e.g. mail copied to an IMAP server from Outlook), messages have a "winmail.dat" file containing nothing of relevance.

This attachment is invisible when viewing the message via Outlook, but appears as an attachments in Thunderbird.

When large numbers of messages have been copied from Outlook, it makes the Attachments column in the folder view essentially useless, as messages without attachments appear to have attachments.

Thunderbird should have a preference to completely ignore these Winmail.dat files (and possibly other common non-attachments), so that real attachments show up better.

Comment 1

12 years ago
see bug 77811

I think it shoudln't be ignored, but supported.
(Reporter)

Comment 2

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #1)
> see bug 77811
> I think it shoudln't be ignored, but supported.

Yes, but including code to properly support a proprietary format sounds like a longer term job, but detecting that an attachment is of an "ignorable" type (which I would personally configure to at least include winmail.dat files) and showing no paperclip in the "attachments" column is, by comparison, a small job.

Comment 3

12 years ago
Hello,

winmail.dat is in a proprietary file format used by our friends at ms :)
This file may contain formatting for the text *but also* attachments. 

Ignoring the file is not a good idea as it may causes loss of data (ie the attachments). 
After some investigations, it appears that the file format is named TNEF and actually two standalone applications seem to decode it well : 
   - fentum : free but doesn't work on some XP installation
   - wmdecode : free trial only.

The support of the winmail.dat is a major showstopper to the adoption of thunderbird in corporate environnement where Outlook is used. If the thunderbird users can't see the attachments of their fellows using Outlook, you can bet that TB will have a hard time proving itself as a successfull replacement of outlook express and/or outlook.

Just my two cents. 

Keep up the good work, gent's
Bertrand

The winamail.dat explained : http://www.gpc.edu/~jbenson/resource/winmail.htm
WMDecode site : http://www.biblet.freeserve.co.uk/
Fentum site : http://www.fentun.com/
Workaround for TB : http://htmlfixit.com/?p=291

Comment 4

12 years ago
If I read the link correctly, this is only a (mis)feature of MS Outlook 97 and MS Outlook 2000. Since corporate environments will have migrated to 2003 by now, I disagree that this is a showstopper. Just my -2 cents...
(Reporter)

Comment 5

12 years ago
(In reply to comment #4)
> If I read the link correctly, this is only a (mis)feature of MS Outlook 97 and
> MS Outlook 2000. Since corporate environments will have migrated to 2003 by
> now, I disagree that this is a showstopper. Just my -2 cents...

Outlook 2003 has this misfeature, at least the way I'm using it. Since the page referenced has a last modified date of 04 January 2002 16:11:34, this is probably why it doesn't mention outlook 2003.

Sometimes real attachments make it through unscathed, and sometimes they get absorbed into a winmail.dat file, as comment 3 pointed out (I did not realise that the file could contain other attachments at the time I filed this...)

I'd say that bug 77811 is the "major showstopper" for adopting Thunderbird in an Outlook-dominated corporate environment. This is an enhancement for a workaround to avoid one of the effects (false attachment icons), but possibly with a certain amount of collateral damage (no attachment icon for attachments that are hidden within a winmail.dat file).

Given the fact that some attachments remain hidden anyway, this may be of rather limited utility as it stands (and I'd be happy for it to be WONTFIXed). It could also be morphed into a more generalised enhancement of classification of attachments into (useable / useful / important) types and (non-useable / non-useful / unimportant) types.

Updated

9 years ago
Assignee: mscott → nobody

Comment 6

8 years ago
I think this bug should be marked as Won't Fix. It's been 3.5 years without any activity on it, and we all should know by now that TNEF's winmail.dat shouldn't be ignored because it may contain multiple attachments.

Comment 7

5 years ago
Desperately need support for winmail.dat, and especially outlook meeting announcements that get sent as winmail.dat. My corporate customers do not consider it a problem as they dont understand why everyone is not using outlook. This is a major showstopper, as it forces me to maintain a whole separate mail system to be able to accept invitations and attachments from corporate clients.

Comment 8

5 years ago
(In reply to rob from comment #7)
> Desperately need support for winmail.dat, and especially outlook meeting
> announcements that get sent as winmail.dat. My corporate customers do not
> consider it a problem as they dont understand why everyone is not using
> outlook. This is a major showstopper, as it forces me to maintain a whole
> separate mail system to be able to accept invitations and attachments from
> corporate clients.

try this extension:
https://addons.mozilla.org/thunderbird/addon/lookout/

It decode winmail.dat, and change to standard attachements.

(In reply to Przemyslaw Kulczycki from comment #6)
> I think this bug should be marked as Won't Fix.

Second that. There is extension for it.

Maybe TB should just detect winmail.dat, and suggest to install Lookout extension?

Comment 9

5 years ago
(In reply to rob from comment #7)
> [...] especially outlook meeting announcements that get sent as winmail.dat. 

My exchange send them as attachment with Content-Type: text/calendar. Lightning extension handle it very well. 
Although I use POP3, and because our admin provide POP3 access for non-outlook users, Exchange may be configured to do not send winmail.dat.
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