Eudora molestation

I don't use the term molestation lightly, but Eudora really does molest emails.

For those of you who don't know, I've been using Eudora for about 11 years now. The oldest email in my mailbox is from December 1997.

Two weeks ago, I decided it was time to make a change. Eudora had treated me well for the first ten years, but was starting to show its age. I guess it didn't like having huge mailboxes, with mail from four different versions of Eudora. I decided to move to Outlook 2003.

I initially thought this would be a trivial task. All I'd have to do is create an IMAP account in Eudora, move all my mail there, and download it with Outlook. Easier said than done.

Eudora doesn't keep the original mail message it downloaded. Rather, it rewrites it so it's more in a format Eudora liked back in 1995.

The first thing you'll notice when migrating mail is that Eudora stripped all the Content-Type headers for everything except multipart messages. I figured "Hey, I can fix this, with a short script".

Two weeks later, that script is now 175 lines long.

If anyone else is attempting this feat, here's how I went about it:

Firstly, the script I wrote: fixeudora.php

  • Take a backup of your Eudora folder. Really. Do it.
  • Copy all your mail to an IMAP server you have SSH access to. The main reason I used IMAP is because Eudora takes care of re-attaching the attachments for you. Also, make sure you're using Maildir, not mbox. I moved all my mail to a subfolder called 'Migration', because I already had mail in my maildir.
  • On your IMAP server, create the folder '/tmp/mail', and copy all the emails in your maildir (or 'Migration' folder) there.
  • Run the script (above)

It's not foolproof. There's a few complications/limitations I haven't dealt with:

  • text/html message in multipart message must be the first part
  • Eudora doesn't transfer embedded images to the IMAP server
  • Eudora sometimes adds its own headers and puts more headers after a newline (this appears in the message now). This isn't fixed. Always occurrs after the Mime-Version: 1.0 header.

The last point there is quite annoying. I never bothered resolving this, because it only affected six of my mails.

For documentation purposes, here's a list of molestation I've encountered (in addition to above):

  • No Content-Type header
  • Content-Type set to text/plain in multipart message when it's supposed to be text/html
  • <x-flowed> tag appears in some text/plain messages