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sr #109439: Commit notification hook mishandles non-ASCII author names

Submitted by:  Ludovic Courtès <civodul>
Submitted on:  Mon 08 Jan 2018 08:31:59 AM UTC  
Category:  Source code repositories - developer access Priority:  5 - Normal
Severity:  3 - Normal Status:  None
Assigned to:  None Operating System:  None
Open/Closed:  Open

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Tue 09 Jan 2018 07:22:10 PM UTC, comment #2:

I spent some time looking into this problem and the issue is much too complicated to type into a web page text area. I thought about dragging this conversation over to the mailing list but decided to give it a shot here anyway. Glenn is correct about the Latin1 encoding being the problem.

There are many problems. One is that Savannah's web interface is designed around Latin1 not UTF-8. I don't know what needs to be done to fix the web UI to migrate it from Latin1 to UTF-8. I didn't try it and am not sure but I am pretty sure that if I update the database to contain UTF-8 content instead of Latin1 content then the web page would be the reverse mangling.

Oh, and there is also a lot of content stored in the database in UTF-8 content too. Even though the database character encoding is specified as Latin1. Assaf has an entry describing this problem in the TODO list. That mismatch is also a problem for other data in the other direction.

In any case here are some data factoids just as general information. I will dump some data from the MySQL database.

This shows that indeed the content from the database is returned in a Latin1 encoding. This is then used by git-multimail and onward. If it were UTF-8 then from here onward through the email it should all work okay.

At the moment I think a reasonable workaround would be handling this in the git-multimail wrapper that we are already using with git-multimail. It's all Python and I am a Perl guy so please forgive me if I don't know Python well enough to make the changes myself. But if someone were to propose patches to the python then I think this could be fixed there. Here is raw access to the git repository including config for git-multimail. The file needing patching is post-receive. Looking at that file should give a python person enough information on the process and they should be able to hack in a workaround.

If the fromaddr could be passed through "iconv -f LATIN1 -t UTF-8" then I think the result would work around the current Latin1 issues. Patches solicited.

And one more thing. We are using git-multimail from just after the 1.0.0 tag plus 3 with two local changes on top of that from 2014. It's been working well so there hasn't been a need to update. But if someone were offended that we aren't using the latest version of git-multimail and was willing to test out the new version then I'd be happy to work through the upgrade with them.

Bob Proulx <rwp>
Site Administrator
Tue 09 Jan 2018 04:26:15 AM UTC, comment #1:

This was reported to git-multimail (which is still what Savannah uses, I think?) years ago, and closed wontfix:

Presumably the Savannah user database is still Latin-1.

Glenn Morris <gm>
Mon 08 Jan 2018 08:31:59 AM UTC, original submission:


The email notification hook behind the Guix repositories incorrectly handles non-ASCII commit author names.

See for instance:

It also leads to invalid headers like this:

Mail-Followup-To: ", Ludovic Court",
"ès <>"

Could it be that the notification hook is running in a non-UTF8 locale?


Ludovic Courtès <civodul>


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  • -email is unavailable- added by rwp (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by gm (Posted a comment)
  • -email is unavailable- added by civodul (Submitted the item)
  • -email is unavailable- added by civodul

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