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

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Gund Wehsling Gund.Wehsling@c...
Tue Apr 5 15:27:18 NZST 2005

I will be removing my self from this mailing list today.
The amount of junk has now exceeded the amount of value.


From: Daniel Lawson [mailto:daniel@m...]
Sent: Tue 5/04/2005 11:58
To: Waikato Linux Users Group
Subject: Re: [wlug] Mailing list etiquette (was Re: Sudo)

>>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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