The Eudora mailbox format is very nearly unix mbox format, the main
difference being that the initial line of a message, the one
that begins with the word '
From ' with no colon, has the string
???@???' in place of the sender's e-mail. By extracting the
sender's e-mail from other message headers and using this to repair the
From ' line, Eudora mailboxes are made usable by many unix
Date header is often left off of Eudora messages,
presumably because it is contained in the initial '
From ' line.
That date isn't in quite the format required by mbox format, so it must be
massaged a little.
Furthermore, the exact format of the date header specified in RFC 2822 is not always achieved by old email. Often, the comma required after the weekday is left off; this will choke some finicky clients. This is also repaired.
Most clients have a mechanism for indicating
This info isn't very well standardized.
Most versions of Eudora for Windows and Mac keep this info for each mailbox in a separate binary file with the suffix '.toc'. The exact format of this file varies between versions and is the subject of some debate. Furthermore, some Mac versions of Eudora store the info in the Mac "resorce fork" of the mailbox file. Fortunately, Qualcomm has provided utilities for converting such mailboxes to the two-file version. Get it here: TOCConvert
This is indicated for most unix clients by an
This is indicated for most unix clients by an
Eudora uses numbers from 1-5 (Highest to Lowest).
Kmail responds to a mail header
these same numbers, but for itself, uses the
Priority header, which only takes one value,
Pine will "flag" a message with
F in the
The conventional means of indicating that one message is a response
to another is an
In-Reply-To header corresponding
Message-ID header of the other.
To use this to determine if a message has been answered, the whole mailbox must be read in advance. Furthermore, this method only works if the responses are in the same mailbox as the original.
Later versions of Eudora use this determination when they first build the .toc file for an existing mailbox.
Eudora Lite versions 1.x seem not to use or set the
Kmail seems to make the determination on the fly, and displays responses to messages in a heirarchical fashion.
Pine is dumb this way, however, and only indicates the message was
answered if the header
X-Status has the value
Eudora records and distinguishes between "answered", "forwarded", "redirected" messages. Pine and Kmail only know a message was answered.
I don't see that Pine or Kmail use this information.
These scripts don't address the issue of whether a message is sent by the user or received...it isn't appropriate for them to do so.
The only way Pine knows whether a message was incoming or outgoing, especially with old e-mail that was sent from a different e-mail address, is by knowing the user's old e-mail addresses.
This makes sense conceptually. If you're holding a paper missive in your hand, and don't remember how it got there, how do you know it was outgoing or incoming? Why, you compare it's addressee to your own name (and aliases).
To inform Pine of your old e-mail addresses, put them in the list
alt-addresses in Setup->Config. Then it
will display outgoing messages as
Most clients have special mailboxes for incoming, outgoing, and trash, and maybe draft messages. Eudora2Unix does its best to account for those of Eudora, Pine, and Kmail, according to this table:
|*||Eudora for the Mac lacks the .mbx suffix|
|**||When used as a POP client, Pine's INBOX is on the server; not a real file; downloaded messages are in saved-messages|
|***||Pine doesn't have a trash mailbox--just marks messages for deletion.|
Eudora extracts all attachments, converts them, and saves them in a
user-configurable directory. In the place of the encoded binary,
it places a line like
Attachment converted: filepath
in the message body.
This isn't very useful on the unix side. Besides ignoring the issue, there are two alternatives: either re-encode the binaries, and replace them in their corresponding messages according to RFC 2045, or somehow replace the Eudora filepath indicator with something more useful on the unix side.
The latter is certainly easier, and it's what I've done. Eudora2Unix
creates a URI to a file
Where attach is the argument of the
-a flag passed to
and should correspond to the name of the Eudora attachments folder.
Note this folder should be re-named to have no spaces. For Mac
mail directories, Eudora2Unix also avoids processing this folder as
a mail folder (since Mac mailbox names have no extensions, there's no
other way for Eudora2Unix to distinguish between mailboxes and other
It makes the attachment 'clickable' only in Pine, and only if the file path contains no spaces. I have contacted both the Pine and Kmail developers about this issue. There is no reason why this method should not work well.
Note that it makes some sense for this directory to be invisible to Pine, so a name like '.attachments' is good.
The Eudora Mac mail directory structure is straightforward: the mailbox display reflects the filesystem structure. The Windows versions distinguish mail folders with a '.fol' suffix and mailbox files with a '.mbx'suffix. These suffixes aren't displayed by the program. Furthermore, the Windows 3.x versions must use 8-character DOS file names, but display nice long folder names. This is accomplished by means of a small table named 'dscmap.pce' in each directory that contains mailboxes.
Pine's directory structure is also straightforward. It starts in the directory $HOME/mail by default. Note that a directory can be hidden from folder display by putting a '.' in front of its name.
Kmail's directory structure is unjustifiably complicated. The folder names it displays correspond to directories, which must include subdirectories 'cur' 'new' and 'tmp', but which do not contain mailboxes! The actual content of the folder is in an invisible folder named '.foldername.directory'. Good grief.
So if you want to merge your converted files with an existing KMail directory, remember to copy both the 'foldername' and the invisible '.foldername.directory' for each mailbox folder tree.
Copy Eudora directory to unix directory eudora-mail-directory, rename the Eudora Attachments folder as '.attachments',
Eudora2Unix.py -t kmail -a '.attachments' eudora-mail-directory
This will finally produce a directory 'Mail.e2u'. Once your are happy with it, and you're sure it won't wipe out anything important, its contents should be moved to the 'Mail' directory. Then Kmail will be able to see the results.
The scripts are also documented internally. User-level documentation can be viewed with the Python script 'pydoc.py', which comes with recent Python distributions.