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Re: text/enriched: Throwing in the towel

1993-09-09 08:12:06
At  9:52 AM 9/9/93 -0500, Jim Conklin wrote:
 As a user, I agree with Stef.  I get very tired of receiving mail in
which extra spaces have been inserted in order to justify the text, and I
would be delighted to have the control to prevent that!

I think there are two issues that are being muddled.

1. The DEFAULT state of full justification.  The standard should leave the
default up to the reader (implementor or user).  That is, if the sender
does not explicity specify a justification, the reader is free to choose
what it likes.

2. What happens when the sender EXPLICITLY requests <flushboth>.  Perhaps I
am misunderstanding, but I seem to be hearing people who want to allow the
reader to ignore even an explicit specification.

This brings up a really interesting issue; just whose text is it anyway?

Should the sender be able to specify how his text looks?

Should the reader be able to read the text in whatever way he likes best?

Is full justification so very different from other formatting attributes
that we can rationally say the reader should control it, even though the
sender controls everything else?

Is it the business of the standard to address these issues?  I would be
inclined to write the standard such that an explicit directive must be
obeyed if possible.  People who don't like full justification would have
two avenues of redress:

1. Inflict out-of-band bodily harm on the misguided souls who use full

2. Use implementations that allow them to control the justification, in an
unashamedly non-MIME-compliant manner.  As an MUA author, I feel no guilt
about doing weird things AT THE USER'S REQUEST.

Steve Dorner, Qualcomm Inc.