John I subscribe to your logic, only to a point, and that point has to
do with a recognition that most peopel using paper media do not have the
tools to do much more than create plain text in common fonts. Only
recently has desktop publishing given us the ability to "get fancy" and
sure enough, paper mail is getting fancier, as we speak.
Also, anoth point is that we are going to see lots of stuff like project
managemnt spread sheets, and such "objects" being mailed around, in
revisable forms. And if we think about mail enabled applications
without human interventions, we get anothe whole class of mail
Our prooblem is the same one the Nathaniel has fingered so well for us,
and that is that we have too many ways to create fancy complex objects
to mail, such that it is too often the case that the recipient cannot
render the received object. This is what we are trying to remedy here,
by establisning standard ways (to a point) to include and mail complex
structured objects. We are not dealing yet with the rendering problems,
but only with the tagging problem and the packaging problem.
So, I am not so gloomy as you are about "plain text forever", but I am
realistic about how far we are from where we dream of going. RFC-XXXX
is but one small (but critically critical) step forward.