Topal — Changelog
Copyright © 2001–2012 Phillip J. Brooke
- 06/2001, 0.1
- First alpha release.
- 06/2001, 0.2
- Minor changes.
- 06/2001, 0.3
- Major changes to how keys are identified and
- 06/2001, 0.4
- Adding more customization features.
- 11/2001, 0.4.4
- Cleaned up some error messages; added -nps
- 11/2001, 0.4.5
- Added ‘gpg-options’ config item with
default ‘--no-options’. (Forgot to add this note as well....)
- 11/2001, 0.5.0
- Dumped -verify and -decrypt modes in
favour of the multiple-block ‘-display’ mode. Added -help. Added
caching. Added more switches relating to caching. Better output
- 11/2001, 0.5.1
- Improved menus. Tidied up some of the
interface. Added -s, which does the same as -nps.
- 12/2001, 0.5.2
- Tidied disclaimer. Added synonyms for
-help (-h, -?, --help, --h) Cleaned up menus; keypresses aren't echoed
- 12/2001, 0.5.3
- Altered packaging to include version in
directory name. Changed names of some -clear options to be a bit more
sensible. Changing config settings method (big change). Making -s
the default operation. Some rearrangement of code, constants. Some
configuration editing possible via Topal. Send has access to
- 12/2001, 0.5.4
- Bug fix; one-off error in the sending
- 12/2001, 0.5.5
- Removed redundant examples directory.
Changed over to HTML documentation. Tweaked the RELEASE stuff. Use
space instead of enter when waiting to continue: this looks forward to
offering a help option at every prompt. The receive/blocks
stuff now uses an expanding array. The GPG return value is checked
when receiving: if it's bad, then some bits of the output are omitted;
the cache file is not written. The date bit of Topal output moved
onto the previous line (echo -n blah blah).
- 12/2001, 0.5.6
- Adding installation instructions. Using
tee and PIPESTATUS to get stderr on screen during receiving while also
saving that output and recording gpg's exit status. Changed RELEASE
filename to release. Tidied up the Makefile. Invalid passphrase
messages are grep'd out of the output. Added ‘fast continue’ options.
Key lists in the configuration section now use expanding arrays.
Changed key details selection message. Secret key selection now
offers a menu of secret keys on the secret keyring. Initial recipient
search excludes keys in XK list. Added key search/selection menu
choice - much nicer to use than the add menu. More configuration
stuff added (still more to do, although the config file can always be
used). Partial documentation update.
- 2/2002, 0.5.7
- Adding limited RFC2015/MIME decoding of
- 2/2002, 0.5.8
- Adding mime-construct to configuration in
expectation of more RFC2015 features. Put test for the config file
existing before actually attempting to read it (oops). Added -O2
-Wall and the TOPALDEBUG variable for compiling. Put up WWW page via
own Freeserve site. Announcing via Freshmeat. Automating output WWW
site generation (all the grunge in the Makefile).
- 3/2002, 0.6.0
- Distribution uses a gzip'd binary now....
Added a pre-built binary that is statically linked against the GNAT
stuff so that people don't need to acquire GNAT first (this, I
believe, complies with the GNAT licence).
Added the scripts
topal-fix-email and topal-fix-folder. This makes it a lot easier to
work with other people's multipart/signed or /encrypted email.
Procmail recipe added to this README.
Added display of
application/pgp messages. Including the text of one of these in a
reply might be difficult, but then, it was difficult without topal's
mangling. At least they can be verified and read now.
option added. Hack needed (in topal-pine-patch [now pine-4.44.patch])
to allow non-text/blah content-types in Pine. RFC2015 send and
received done (including micalg detection when sending clearsigned
messages: list used from RFC3156.). Ditto for application/pgp, but
I'm not sure of some of the parameters, since I've only ever seen
signed emails of this form.
Removed some of the waits for execution,
since it seems reliable. Added error checking on return value of GPG
- 3/2002, 0.6.1
- The Content-Type for MIME sending is
displayed on the screen using ‘cat’ rather than ‘less’, which was
getting to be annoying.
Two changes that are related to how I
manage the source code: Slight tweak to makefile for keeping track
of RCS files; and using rcs -n<symbolic-name> to tag the
- 3/2002, 0.6.2
- MIME clear-signed messages: trailing blank
lines are now deleted before signing (this would cause BAD signature
when verifying on some other MTAs). Added remarks to documentation
about the patch to Pine and attachments.
- 4/2002, 0.6.3
- RFC1847 multipart encapsulation added.
(See section 6.1 of RFC3156.) Cleaned up related receiving/caching
Another MIME clear-signed messages bugfix. This one
sorts out line-end conventions correctly.
New patch for Pine: this
stops a SEGFAULT when using RFC2015 stuff and other attachments at the
Updated documentation; added man pages for the two scripts.
- 4/2002, 0.6.4
- New patch for Pine. Adds a workaround for
the problem where some versions of MS Exchange would silently lose
inbound MIME clearsigned email. It turns out that a slight formatting
change stops the problem.
- 5/2002, 6/2002; 0.6.5, 0.6.6, 0.6.7, 0.6.8
- Adding more debugging,
mostly to the menus code. Used for tracking down a nasty problem
causing exceptions. Many thanks to Felix Madlener for pointing this
out and testing the revised code.
- 7/2002, 0.6.9
- Renamed the Pine patch for when new versions
come out. (It's still the same patch as for Topal 0.6.4.) Added trap
for non-existent file when using ‘-s’. Cache directory as well as
.topal directory is also chmod'd to 700. Added README.txt to package
file (even though it's generated from the .html) so that those who
just want to ‘less’ it (instead of firing up a HTML reader) can do so.
- 8/2002, 0.7.0
- Changed email address in man page. Lots more
exception handling for extra info when something goes wrong. Moderate
code reorganisation: mostly splitting blocks of code out for future
work. Fixed ‘bug’ (feature?) where send fails if a public key is
unusable (although this may risk sending plaintext through; we assume
that if an output file was generated, then the GPG errors weren't
fatal). Now we check instead if the output file exists. Checking all
source files for any similar bugs in menus (cf. the 5/2002 entry).
Modified MIME RFC2015 receiving function so that it isn't so reliant
on shell calls of sed (which can fall over with nasty characters in an
incoming emails boundary). Moreover, it can now cope with MIME parts
that don't end with a newline. Tweaking MIME/verify cache handling:
we shouldn't actually get an output file from GPG (since we're only
verifying one part with the other); we put a vague warning if this
happens, and trap when reading the cache. Added content-type to
plaintext for MIME/encrypted. Documentation update.
- 8/2002, 0.7.1
- Fixed minor bug with inverted return code
(‘-s’ trap). Doc update.
- 9/2002, 0.7.2
- Fixed minor bug in key list handling code
(dealing with key selection).
- 9/2002; 0.7.3, 0.7.4 (BETA)
- Disposed of the dependency on a shell by
introducing Ada bindings for fork/exec/dup/pipe/glob, etc.. Several
external binaries are no longer needed (cat, echo). Most return codes
are now properly checked (although still need to do a better audit).
Followed Eduardo Chappa's advice and changed Pine patch version
letter. Miscellaneous cleanups and fixes. Many thanks to Peter
Losher for giving me the incentive to sort out the external calls.
- 9/2002; 0.7.5 (BETA)
- Tidying up structure of external calls, and
how the various messages are built up and torn down. Changed the lynx
switches at the suggestion of Felix Madlener (many thanks!). When
receiving MIME encrypted attachments, the output is not included in
the Topal output, but only in the metamail invocation.
- 10/2002; 0.7.6 (BETA)
- Explicitly noted which versions are
not intended for general use (beta versions). Rearranged command line
parsing for more flexibility in future.
- 10/2002; 0.7.7 (BETA)
- Re-implementing topal-fix-email and
topal-fix-folder as part of the main topal binary. This removes the
(script) dependency on munpack, but adds formail and diff to the main
binary. Fixed some missing bits for particular binaries in
configuration handling. Adding ‘important changes from last stable
version’ documentation. Tweaked the body extraction procedure.
Tweaked some output messages. Major changes to menus: they now use
enumerated types rather than integers.... Tweaking cl_menu some
more. Added ‘pass-thu’ option to send menu (so you can always use the
Topal filter. This might also fix the minor problem with text/html
occasionally being sent when it shouldn't be....) Fixed bug where
MIME decrypt failure would still cause metamail to be invoked, but
that's a waste of time.
- 10/2002; 0.7.8
- Clearing out case statements with ‘when
others’. Tidying up sending.adb. Fixed problem in MIME output where
a leading blank line was added. Finally implemented ‘topal
--fix-folders’ functionality added. No longer need the two old
scripts (I hope)! Another documentation tidy-up. Added
‘inline-separate-output’ option: this effectively turns off the GnuPG/Topal
wrappers in output. However, the side-effect is that the cache must
be cleared when upgrading to this version.
- 11/2002; 0.7.9
- Added some infrastructure for
encrypting/signing attachments (but this is nowhere near working yet).
Documentation and manpage update (again). Seems stable, will release.
- 2/2003; 0.7.10, 0.7.11
- Tweaking distribution pages (mkdistrib).
Including patches against Pine versions 4.50 and 4.53. (They're all
more-or-less the same patch. It's pretty
easy to apply them against 4.51 and 4.52 if you feel so inclined.)
Further doc clean up (particular the stuff about important changes
from previous stable versions). Implemented Felix M.'s suggestion for
handling non-existant command-line options: things that aren't valid
options, but are prefixed with a ‘-’ get a more helpful error
message. --fix-email workaround also writes out the original input in
the exception handler. Changed recommended procmail recipe so that
Topal's exit code is checked.
- 2/2003; 0.7.12
- Adding ‘workaround-error-log’ file to
.topal. This accepts output from topal --fix-email when it fails to
exit cleanly. Not quite clear if this bit works yet (was tracking
down other problem). It appears that when running without a real
terminal, the call to set_echo fails. Odd. Nasty workaround
- 2/2002; 0.7.13
- Added missing includes to ada-echo-c.c.
Perhaps related to issue in the previous entry.
- 4/2003; 0.7.13b
- Bug fix release only - backported from
(not-yet-released 0.8.0). Fixed bug when
changing own signing key using the -config option - thanks to Stewart
James for the bug report.
- 10/2003; 0.7.13.2
- Bug fix release only - backported from
(not-yet-released 0.8.0). Changed bug fix versioning scheme.
Makefile now links properly against static GNAT runtime. Fixed
problem which manifests as: ‘relocation error: /lib/libreadline.so.4:
undefined symbol: BC’ (needed instruction to link against ncurses) -
thanks to Marty Hoff for the bug report. Added patch against Pine
- 10/2003; 0.7.13.3
- Now use -gnatwa and -gnato for all Ada
compilation. It was omitted from the main binary build command
before. Fixed all the resulting warnings.
- 1/2004; 0.7.13.4
- Patched externals calls for errno to
prevent (in some cases) warnings from ld.so, and in other cases,
failures to build.
- 6/2004; 0.7.13.5
- Added patch against Pine version
4.60. Updated some notices.
- 1/4/2005; 0.7.13.6
- Calls to the GPG binary now have LANG
set to C before exec so that we don't have to worry about different
language output in GPG. Thanks for Joern Brederec for the bug report
and suggestion of how to fix it.
- Four internal development releases junked.
- 8/1/2008; release 55
--fix-email now replaces the original message with a
multipart/misc wrapper, rather than expanding it into a
Replaced some key selection code. Hopefully, this reduces the number
of locale-dependent and GPG version-specific problems. Additionally,
revoked, disabled and invalid keys are no longer offered; checks are
made to ensure that the key is valid for encryption/signing when applicable.
New patch for Alpine 1.00. Includes configuration setting.
The ‘pass through unchanged’ send option no longer modifies the
content-type to text/plain.
Should now build and run on Cygwin.
Licence is now GPL-3.
Attempt to prevent potential memory leak (if running for a long time)
by making the implementation of expanding_array a controlled type.
Cleaned up Ada source to reduce warnings.
Other minor changes, e.g., better checks on keylists, documentation clean-up.
Changed release numbering.
HTML cleaned up and CSS added.
- 8/1/2008; release 56
--read-from option added to select different signing keys
depending on the From line. Also added sake and sxk
Fixed bug in Keys.Remove.Key (didn't match if the full fingerprint
Command-line parser now accepts 1 or more hyphens for any option.
Improved keylist documentation.
Corrected release date for release 55... oops.
- 8/1/2008; release 57
Initial attempt at supporting attachments within Topal.
Changed MIME boundary detection code (the previous algorithm couldn't
cope with multipart included in a signed email). Please tell me if
this breaks your emails....
Bug fix to _INCLUDEALLHDRS_ - it needs to turn the CRLF back into LF
or it might chop off some of your message....
- 22/6/2008; release 58
UI improvements (count keys in keylist, clearer indication of position
Added patch for Alpine 1.10. Renamed all patch files.
Default paths for binaries are no longer absolute.
Configuration files now allow comments, but they're not preserved by Topal.
Added more exception handling messages.
Sending and receiving both save off original input as tempfiles to
Added --ask-charset command line option. This is really only for
testing a new workaround for locale-related bad signatures. Please
see locale problems in the notes and
Started removing dependency on mime-construct; new source files mime.ad[sb].
Build date added to binary.
- 3/7/2008; release 59
Added sequence numbers to temporary files to reduce possible name
The makefile's install target now installs to INSTALLPATH. This can
be overridden, e.g., make install INSTALLPATH=/usr/local.
The four more specific paths, INSTALLPATHBIN, INSTALLPATHMAN,
INSTALLPATHDOC and INSTALLPATHPATCHES can also be overridden. Fixes
request from Nils Schlupp re: ebuild.
The --ask-charset command-line option is now only used if a bad signature
is returned; a second attempt is then made if a different character
set is suggested by the user.
- 13/7/2008; release 60
Update installation instructions for make install.
We now use a modified version of Jeffrey S. Dutky's mime-tool instead
of mime-construct for creating MIME messages. We include our modified
version in the Topal tarball (since both are GPL, and our
modifications are needed if creating MIME messages).
MIME viewing can now use metamail, use run-mailcap or save the attachment to the
folder ~/.topal/viewmime (which you can then open in
Alpine). run-mailcap and saving support are new.
Sending menu allows user to view and edit the email. A quicker
method for changing/setting the signing (own) key is available.
- 14/7/2008; release 61
An initial, rather crude, but (for my purposes at least) effective
remote mode for sending.
Some history is now saved.
- 17/7/2008; release 62
Added basic support for S/MIME verification of messages.
Quoted-printable encoder (in MIME-tool) improved (single dots and
leading "From ") as per RFC2049.
Decode quoted-printable and base64 before calling run-mailcap.
Ignore errors in strip in Makefile (trips up Cygwin, which expects the
executable to be foo.exe).
Update feature list for remote sending.
Internal changes to configuration storage.
- 31/8/2008; release 63
Update change list for release 62 (omitted some items...).
Give a sensible warning message instead of dying with an exception
when (1) signing operations are called without own key set; (2)
attempting to choose own key without any secret keys available.
Added some hints in the documentation.
Initial attempt at supporting remote decryption.
Handle SIGINT ourselves so that temporary files are cleaned up. Also
clean up more often when exceptions occur.
- 24/10/2008; release 64
Update feature list for release 63's remote decryption support.
Add patch to Topal sources for Cygwin. (The recent interrupt code
Bug fix: temporary files weren't being deleted, because
Rm_Tempfiles_PID hadn't been changed to match Temp_File_Name.
Added patch for Alpine 2.00. Alpine's S/MIME needs to be turned off
for Topal's S/MIME verification to work.
Bug fix in Externals.Simple.Guess_Content_Type.
- 1/5/2009; release 65
MIME sending now uses the current locale as the content-type header charset.
MIME receiving (verification) tries to use the character set given in
its first attempt.
Signing calls to GPG use --textmode flag (shouldn't be needed
if the dos2unix calls work, but experiments suggest some problems if
we don't do this).
Fix remote server so that emails with multiple recipients are handled
Added new patch to Alpine that might make it easier to read
multipart signed/encrypted messages. This makes the procmail recipe
redundant, but needs more testing.
Attempt to manage different character sets when verifying S/MIME.
MIME messages now include a prolog explaining that they're OpenPGP
messages. Also added appropriate Content-Disposition headers to help
Update docs re: Alpine patches.
Code cleanup (e.g., vars that could be declared constant, and some
unused procedure formals).
- 6/6/2009; release 66
Removed spurious spaces from Topal ‘-----’ text that were messing up
format=flowed text. Note that this doesn't fix cache files that
already have this problem.
Changed the default sending and receiving GPG options (use
the -default option to see them). This does not override
whatever is in your current .topal/config file.
Added a configuration option ‘omit-inline-disposition-name’:
apparently some mail services mistreat inline MIME parts if they have
a filename. If this option is set, then no filename parameter is
added to inline content-disposition headers. The option can be
changed via the configuration menu.
- 6/6/2009; release 67
Added another configuration option ‘omit-inline-disposition-header’.
If a disposition header of value inline would be added, it's simply
- 27/6/2009; release 68
Minor bug fix with configuration handling of
Added new configuration option save-on-send.
A range of major and minor changes to the sending interface.
Added the sd configuration option that allows keys or emails to be
associated with particularly sending options.
When secret keys aren't available, still try to add a suitable key for
self for encryption.
MIME viewer setting has been replaced by two: one for decrypt and one
Bad lines in the configuration file now result in a warning, not an exception.
Internal modifications to configuration handling.
- 21/7/2009; release 69
No longer calling an external app for line-end conversions.
Added a note re: Alpine's S/MIME message about certificates.
Show the list of recipients just before sending (from the to/cc/bcc
lists; not lcc, as Alpine doesn't pass those to in the _RECIPIENTS_
token). The idea is to allow the user to spot the “oh no, I didn't
intend to email that person” problem.
- 22/9/2009; release 70
Added use-agent configuration option. This has three values:
(1) never use an agent, (2) only use it for decryption, (3) always use
it. Don't put GPG's --[no-]use-agent options in any other
configuration options or it might be confusing.
Adding attachments when using a non-MIME mode forces a change to a
suitable mode (where possible).
Presentation changes for recipient list check.
Fixed a minor typo in a user message.
- 25/2/2010; release 71
Added more MICALGs from RFC4880.
Handle missing Content-Type headers in multipart messages.
Reorganise menus: hopefully, they're easier to read now.
Add some colourisation (this can be disabled by
setting ansi-terminal to off).
Warn if sending defaults to encryption, but some keys are missing.
Add -pd - pipe-display mode. Takes stdin and treats it as a MIME
email for display/verification.
Release code is now taken from the README.html file rather
than a separate release file.
Slight clean-up of this README.
- 25/2/2010; release 72
Fix menus for non-Pine sending. (‘Go’ wasn't working!)
Trap attempts to encrypt when no keys are in the key list.
Minor change to distrib text and Makefile.
Distrib target in Makefile now uses GPG agent.
- 29/4/2011; release 73
Fix crash when sending attachments with spaces in filenames.
Add new switch, wait-if-missing-keys, which requires the user
to acknowledge if keys are missing when defaulting to encryption.
Slightly reorganise configuration menu to keep it within 24 lines.
Update documentation re: crashes related to the second patch and
Topal makes greater efforts to check that external commands exist
before running them.
Exception messages are repeated via Ada's exception handling (if Topal
Added decrypt-prereq option. See this note.
Experimental S/MIME sending support added.
More use of GnuPG's --status-fd option so that we can determine exit
Replaced ancient expanding_array package
Adding sendmail-path filter mode. This is needed for the S/MIME
encrypted and S/MIME sign+encrypted modes. (Otherwise only Topal can
read them; neither Outlook nor Thunderbird will cope with an S/MIME
part inside multipart/mixed.) This mode also
for gpgsm: pinentry-curses doesn't like this environment.
In the sendmail-path filter mode, we no longer need the content-type
guessing. We can simply re-use the content-type from the original
Added replace-ids option which can replace Message-ID (and also
Content-ID) in sendmail-path filter mode.
The sendmail-path mode can also add a token to help spot our cc'd
emails. Use something like st=user@domain,token to set a
password. This is hashed with some headers for each email and added
to an X-Topal-Send-Token header. Topal then has a -cst
token mode which adds a X-Topal-Check-Send-Token
header with either yes or no for that header.
Investigation suggests that group addresses are handled other than I
expect. E.g., Group name:; in the to: field and the actual
list of addresses in lcc field will result in the addresses appearing
in the bcc field in sendmail-path filter mode.
Rewrite main documentation in LaTeX: the main manual is
now topal.pdf. The
change log is still in HTML.
Start adding interoperability notes to manual.
Diagnosing issue with clearsigned (both OpenPGP and S/MIME) emails
that have passed through an MS Exchange server being corrupted.
Added opaque signing option for S/MIME.
Added attachment-trap boolean option. In -asend
mode, this causes Topal to complain if the message body contains the
string “attach” but doesn't have any attachments.
- 23/6/2011; release 74
Oops, wrong year in release 73 date….
Topal needs GNAT's -gnat05 switch.
- Noted the need for GNU's sed (particularly
important if you're using
Mac OS X).
- Noted that gpg-agent needs HUPing
if trustlist.txt is updated.
Added include-send-token switch, where 1 never includes them,
2 asks and 3 always includes them.
Warnings about configuration errors now go to stderr, rather than
messing up other processing output.
Heuristic for attachment trap is improved. This now copes with the
case where the email comprises a single multipart/mixed MIME part.
Some comparisons for content-types are case-insensitive now.
- 26/2/2012; release 75
Most changes this time are to cope with non-cryptographic meddling for
my work environment.
Fix Clean_Email_Address to cope with mailboxes with double quotes and
Added fix-fcc option that modifies a X-Topal-Fcc header. It
is encrypted using the send-token for that sender to X-Topal-Fcce.
The --check-send-token filter will also reverse this.
Added fix-bcc option that adds a X-Topal-Bcce header. It's
handled similarly to X-Topal-Fcce, but records the Bcc contents.
The --check-send-token filter will also reverse this.
Fix token hashing so that it copes with different outputs
from openssl sha1.
- ??/?/2012; release pre76
See the documentation in topal.pdf
for further details.