[thelist] Sending both HTML and plaintext email

Tobyn Baugher trb at cartoonviolence.net
Thu Mar 22 13:42:23 CST 2001

On Thu, Mar 22, 2001 at 01:06:24PM -0000, genghis at members.evolt.org wrote:
> <tip type="HTML Mail">
> There are a lot of system administrators who feel the same
> negative way as I do about HTML mail.  DJC is one (so don't
> bother trying to send HTML to thelist), and anyone who
> (a) agrees with him and (b) runs her office Exchange server,
> can shut your HTML mail out at the front door with a
> single click of the mouse.
> </tip>

Well, I don't run Exchange personally, but I certainly can be counted
among those sysadmins who can't stand HTML email. I would never shut out
ALL users' email for any reason, but I do know that people who insist on
sending me HTML end up sent to /dev/null in my .procmailrc more often
than not.

Remember, some of us still read email using console-mode unix programs
(I personally use mutt) for one reason of another. For us HTML mail
simply shows up as an unreadable attachment that we have to save to disk
and then view later using lynx. There are easier ways to do it using the
more advanced programs but even those are somewhat of a kludge.

Email is supposed to be plaintext. That's just the way the protocol was
designed. You want to include something that's not plaintext? Why don't
you just point me to a web link or ftp file? It'll ensure I don't have
to download huge unsolicited attachments that you can't be sure I'll
want and it'll save both of us time and headaches.

People seem to think that they're doing me a service by providing all
their content in one huge, pretty, over-formatted piece of email.
Honestly, I don't know a single entity on the net where I'm interested
in EVERYTHING they have to say. Why force me to download it all? You're
just wasting both of our bandwidths.

That kind of turned into a rant, but I do feel kinda strongly about the
issue. I mean, in web design people often complain about having to
comply with some braindead browser's bugs so they can appeal to
everyone. Why isn't the same courtesy extended to email when the
guidelines are FAR easier to understand than web design's?



Tobyn "trb" Baugher <trb at cartoonviolence.net>
AIM:unlewp ICQ:14281524 EFnet:trb

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