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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Administrivia: html duplicates

From: Sam Liddicott
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Administrivia: html duplicates
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 17:05:55 +0000
User-agent: Thunderbird (X11/20071022)

* Chris Croughton wrote, On 25/01/08 15:31:
> On Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 12:58:53PM +0000, Noah Slater wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 25, 2008 at 08:01:16AM +0100, Andrew Savory wrote:
>>> Perhaps, given it's 2008 and in the wider world outside our bubble
>>> HTML has become commonplace, we might consider letting through HTML
>>> emails? It might do us some good to see what regular folks do with
>>> their emails.
>> -1
>> I use mutt over ssh and HTML is already enough of a problem for me, I
>> for one welcome stripping at the mailing list stage.
> -1 for exactly the same reasons.
> I don't understand the bit about "It might do us some good to see what
> regular folks do with their emails".  We could find out how many idiots
> there are who can't configure their software correctly?  We could find
> out how many people using FLOSS email clients can't handle HTML emails?
I respect that argument.
Just not very much, that's all.
(with apologies for badly quoting the final phrase from the second BBC
series of the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy).

It was hard to tell from what you said, if the /idiots/ as you put it to
are those whose mail software isn't configured to handle MIME
content-type multipart/alternative messages, or those whose software is
configured to generate such messages.

But seriously, are there really still techies using FLOSS email clients
that can't handle HTML emails in some way, that can't be correctly
configured to handle MIME content-type multipart/alternative?

More than ten years ago RFC 2110 warned of such mailers:

    Implementors are warned, however, that many
       mail programs treat multipart/alternative as if it had been
       multipart/mixed (even though MIME [MIME1] requires support for

But isn't there are source code? Can't usable MIME compliance be added
in 10 years? Lynx has been text-formatting html since 1992!

Sending out mutlipart/alternative is certainly quite appropriate if you
are Cc'ing to people who might appreciate the extra mark-up, including
/some/ screen-reader users.

Those who are still so bothered could take the source to the mailing
list software and see how it removes the alternative part, and put it in
their procmailrc or whatever they use, and they they would get the
text-only part.

I personally don't mind if it is list policy to drop /offensive/
alternative representations, but prefer the new current policy of
permitting them.

Noah, I'm puzzled, Mutt can deal with HTML parts just fine! I just
download it to try it, it renders html in a lynx-type format.



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