[thechat] Just what the world needs...

Judah McAuley judah at wiredotter.com
Fri Oct 18 14:18:00 CDT 2002

Syed Zeeshan Haider wrote:
> I still can't understand why people ALWAYS scold HTML enriched e-mail. I think
> it's not that bad as much it is thought to be. Recently a friend of mine needed
> some help in JavaScript. I mailed him JS code and colored it's different parts
> with red, blue, maroon etc. to explain their functions. This colorizing was not
> possible with HTML mail.
> If HTML e-mail is bad then it can be good in many ways.

Email should be text in my opinion.  HTML is for web pages.  The big
difference between email and web pages is that email comes to you and
you go to web pages.  That makes for a huge difference in etiquette the
way I see it.  I get an email message, I don't know that its going to
have dancing snowflakes, flash content, big images, etc.  I don't have
much control over it either.  It just shows up in my inbox.  It slows
down all my other incoming email and it may cause stability issues with
my mail client because mail clients were originally designed to just
render text.  If you send me a link to a website containing the same
information, on the other hand, I can choose when to look at it, I have
a better idea of what to expect, and I can use a tool appropriate to the
task (a web browser).

If you can't put the information you want on a webpage out on the
internet, then create an HTML file and send it as an attachment.  Once
again, it can be saved and viewed when the user wants and with the
appropriate tool.

To me, its just a matter of politeness.  If something is being pushed,
politeness would indicate that you use the least invasive technology
possible (text).  If its something that someone goes out and seeks (a
webpage) then you have much greater freedom in what you can do within
the boundaries of politeness.


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