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Re: text/enriched: Throwing in the towel

1993-09-09 09:26:16

    ---- Included message:

        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!

This is a frequent view in our community, yet it is exactly contrary to
typical views among the human communication folks.  The sender of a
message is trying to create some effect.  Visual organization to the
message is part of that effort.  Hence, the sender typically wants to
be able to specify the visual characteristics of the message.

This technology of ours allows us to make considerable mayhem of that and
we will have to live with it.  But we ought to understand the difficulty
it imposes.

If I throw together a message with a system that uses crufty courier
font and trivial formatting, I have certain expectations about the way
the recipient will "process" things.  But if the recipient views it
with spiffy New Century Schoolbook, etc., a very different effect may
accrue.  Worse, the sender is likely to have no way of knowing how
the message will be viewed.

This is messy stuff.