At 02:12 16-05-00 , Theodore Y. Ts'o wrote:
It seems to be usually the case, for most messages that I've seen, that
there's *no* added value to the HTML version. I.e., other than adding
<BR> at the end of lines, and using microsoft-specific font settings at
the beginning of each paragraph (usually all the same), there's nothing
to be gained by using HTML except for bloating the message.
So one question to ask is "why send HTML at all" in those cases? It
would be nice if MUA's could detect this case, and only send plain-text,
and reserve HTML only for when it's actually adding something of value.
Its not uncommon for sales folks to use bold or colour in fonts to
highlight some item they want the reader to pay attention to. Its a
matter of opinion whether this is good value.
I will note that I routinely discard all HTML-only or RichText-only email
without bothering to try to read it. So folks who want me to read something
had better be sending at least US-ASCII plain-text. Its well known that
I'm an old fogey, so this likely surprises no one.
I wonder how many people are still using plain-text, non-HTML enabled
mail readers? It still happens on some mailing list, where someone will
send a base-64 encoded html'ified message (usually using MS Outlook),
and someone will send back "try again in English; I don't read that MIME
I do not normally have an HTML-enabled mail reader at hand at work. For
its not unheard of for me to read mail over a real TTY (or telnet or
ssh). My mail readers _do_ comply with MIME, but attachments get
saved to the file system where I can read them by opening a separate
application viewer. Over a TTY, it is intrinsically hard to display fancy
For HTML or RichText, I just don't bother with the second application, ever.
For a long time, if you wanted to guarantee that messages issued by your
MUA would be read, it was wise to send it both in plain-text and HTML
form, with the plain-text form first --- and non-base-64 encoded if at
all possible. For certain recipients, this is still the case.
I'm one of those recipients, so I'd much rather have both plain-text and
fancy, with plain-text first.