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Re: [Fsfe-uk] Administrivia: html duplicates

From: MJ Ray
Subject: Re: [Fsfe-uk] Administrivia: html duplicates
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2008 07:21:00 +0000

Alex Hudson <address@hidden> wrote: [...]
> Many text-based MUAs are bloated out with vastly more special format
> understanding than any HTML MUA would ever need. [...]

I don't see that, especially not when it's in an email that wishes
after some extra format features of html Mail User Agents.  Even fmt
can cope with prefixed lines - why would it be hard for MUAs?

So far as I've seen, HTML editors are still much harder to use than
text editors, either needing one to write first and markup later or
jump to-and-fro from keyboard to mouse.  What's the state of the free
software art here?

Also, I'm not convinced by someone else's argument which seemed to be
roughly that several non-free-software MUAs (Outlook, Thunderbird (OK,
so there's IceDove), MSN, Googlemail, Yahoo) send HTML by default.
Their operators should fix that configuration error IMO.

> Now, of course, some of this is a bit hypothetical in terms of main of
> the mailers emit HTML which has various issues. But the principle of
> blocking HTML just on the basis of it being HTML is pretty regressive
> IMHO. Free software should be innovating in this area, not holding it
> back.

It's not blocking html "just on the basis of it being HTML".  It's
blocking it on the basis of it wasting much space, bandwidth and CPU
on several machines (it seems lists.gnu was upgraded last year, but I
wonder how long before it gets stressed again); and all the html-ready
MUAs can read text, but not necessarily the other way round.

I wish free software were innovating in this area, but it seems like
keyboard-based editing is not slick, and the main innovations have
been finding ways to filter/reduce html mail into plain text.

We're about halfway through the consultation - I'll count up the
posters to this thread as well as off-list, but there's been a few
repeats on here.  Please don't post to the thread unless making a new
point, requesting or supplying extra info or a correction.  So far it
looks like there is no consensus for change.

MJ Ray http://mjr.towers.org.uk/email.html tel:+44-844-4437-237 -
Webmaster-developer, statistician, sysadmin, online shop builder,
consumer and workers co-operative member http://www.ttllp.co.uk/ -
Writing on koha, debian, sat TV, Kewstoke http://mjr.towers.org.uk/

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