When The Text And Html Disagree

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The email was missing ...

Second Saturday of the month, and that means the Farmers' Market is on. Even in this second lockdown it will be running, with a one-way system and limited numbers permitted inside at any one time.

But is it at the usual time? Let's check the email. Oh, I seem to have deleted it.

Never mind, there will be a backup in the spam filtering system, so let's just open that up and have a look.

Hmm, OK, it was in the last week or so, and it has "Wirral" and "Farmer" in the subject, or in the "From" field, or something, so let's have a quick look:

   grep -il "Wirral.*farmer" $( find Data -type f -mtime -8 )

Output: Data/good_confirmed/20201209101801_0141

Excellent, we'll have a look at that:

   ** Next Market - Saturday 10th February 2018 9.00 am - 1.00 pm

OK, so it starts at 9am. No, wait ... what? February?

2018 ??

Finding the right information ...

Digging a little and the mystery deepens. The email from last month says the same thing.

Oh, wait, that's the plain text section of the email, but it uses MIME and has an HTML section ... what does that say?

And there we are ...

    Next Market - Saturday 12th December 9.00 am - 1.00 pm

Yup, the text in the HTML section bears absolutely no relation to the content of the text section.

When the code and comments disagree ...

There is an old saying in computing:

  • When code and comments disagree,
    both are probably wrong.

So what do you do when the plain-text and html sections of an email disagree? I have no answer to that, it's entirely up to you to work out which section has the information you need or want.

Not sure what lesson(s) to take from this.

If any.

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