[kde-linux] Re: OT HTML email (was: multi-head: des...)

Duncan 1i5t5.duncan at cox.net
Mon May 16 16:32:54 UTC 2011

Felix Miata posted on Mon, 16 May 2011 07:01:04 -0400 as excerpted:

> Email is about messaging. In most cases, the email message itself is
> fully conveyable without bloating frills.

Indeed.  Plus, there's the traditional text-format indicators such as
*bold* or BOLD, /italics/, _underlining_, -strikethru-, etc.

A line by itself, possibly with numbers/letters or *-pointed, works as a 
header and/or list element.  For BIG headers...

An underlined header

Or even a double-underlined header

... can be used.

As mentioned, tabular information needs not an HTML table structure.

Images if necessary can be (encoded and) attached, but that doesn't 
require HTML either, and for (primarily text discussion, not special 
purpose binary) mailing lists or newsgroups posts that many will be 
downloading, links can be better, or at minimum, appropriate care should 
be taken to size and compress the image reasonably, given the mass 
distribution the post will be getting.  However, many list/group-servers 
reject binary attachments in text groups/lists anyway, and either ascii-
art or a link is definitely more efficient.

It can be instructional to look at some of the old Internet foundational 
RFCs, in plain text format, once in awhile.  If such foundational 
information is perfectly conveyable using plain text, pretty much any text 
information can be.

In that context, I've always argued that if the author believes his 
information to be so lacking in value by itself that it must be dressed up 
in fancy HTML to be worth sending or the receiver reading, it's not worth 
sending or reading at all.

Perhaps someday I'll start actually acting on that, ignoring posts 
containing HTML (that's not a specific discussion of the literal HTML 
formatting).  Meanwhile, I hate to see someone's plea for help go 
unanswered just because they either didn't realize they were posting HTML 
or don't know any better.  For many, a polite request is all it takes, 
especially if I'm answering the question while I'm at it, which I 
generally am if I have any info that might be helpful.  If I don't, I 
simply ignore the post and let someone else answer, complaining or not 
about the HTML as they will.

Or I could simply note that if the sender doesn't consider the content 
worth reading without dressing it up in fancy HTML, neither do I.  If they 
believe it's worth the trouble, they can repost in plain text, otherwise I 
won't consider it worth the trouble to respond further, either.  But I've 
always thought that would be nearly as disruptive as the HTML posts 
itself, so I've always been nice and either included what help I could 
despite the HTML, or ignored it entirely, otherwise.

Duncan - List replies preferred.   No HTML msgs.
"Every nonfree program has a lord, a master --
and if you use the program, he is your master."  Richard Stallman

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