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[wlug] Mailing list etiquette (was Re: Sudo)

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Bnonn bnonn@o...
Tue Apr 5 12:07:31 NZST 2005

Easy cowbow. No need to get excited.

I wasn't aware, having not used commandline email clients, that they 
didn't support HTML. It seems odd to me that they wouldn't, but there 
may be a good reason. Given that there is such thing as a commandline 
web browser, I couldn't see any obvious reason that commandline mail 
clients wouldn't parse HTML; it's not as if there is some kind of 
inherent property of commandline that prevents it.

Telnet, of course, is a problem. Fair enough.

As for Incredimail, I agree that it's horrible, But I can point you to 
any number of horrible websites with animated gifs and frames, without 
invalidating the good websites which use correct code and good design. 
I'm surprised that you would make such an obviously fallacious argument 
(p2p is evil because people use it for illegal purposes, guns kill 
people, etc etc).

Anyway, the issue is hardly a major one. Let's not get all twisted up eh.

Daniel Lawson wrote:
>>> Also, many people read mailing lists in digest form. HTML (and other 
>>> formats) tend to break in digest mode.
>> I hope you won't take offense, but this seems like the only good 
>> reason to me. Surely, in the year 2005, when the HTML 4 spec has been 
>> around for eight years and has been commonly used to style emails for 
>> not much less time than that, it is reasonable to assume that any mail 
>> reader can parse it?
> No, it's not reasonable at all. Especially not for a mailing list which 
> will have a high rate of people using command line only mail clients, or 
> perhaps self-written mail clients. And people using telnet to read mail. 
> It will happen, if only because it's *this* group of people.
>>  From a purist point of view, I agree that emails should be in plain 
>> text. The reason I style them is because I like them to look pretty for 
> So do it?
>> less computer-savvy types who I regularly email, who don't know how to 
>> style things on their end. Additionally, there are some things that 
>> plain text simply won't do, and which I do occasionally use (lists 
>> being one).
> I can do lists very easily in plain text:
> * This is an example of a list
> * This is a second entry in a list, which has a longer line which I
>   format approrpriately.
> * And here we have a third entry in a list
>   * Look, I can do sublists too!
>> I'm not meaning to stir or be a pest; I just don't understand why any 
>> mail client in use today would not support HTML; or why people would 
>> turn it off? Surely, unless you're using OE, security isn't a problem. 
>> People seem to manage browsing the web without issues, and that's a 
>> far less controlled and predictable environment than email.
> Just because *you* use a mail client that supports HTML emails, does not 
> mean every one *else* does. As I've said, this is mitigated by 
> configuring your client to send an HTML block and a plain text block, 
> however your client was not originally configured to do this, which is 
> *probably* what prompted the "fix your client" thing anyway.
>> So, as I asked before with my sudo question, what am I missing? Are 
>> people just pig-headed snobs who like to feel wronged and stand out as 
>> martyrs for the Old School?
> HTML emails are horrible, plain and simple. All it takes is getting mail 
> from someone using Incredimail for you to see the truth in this statement.
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