On Sat, 13 May 1995, Jacob Palme wrote:
We will shortly start coding a variant of our mail and conference
system, in which we will allow messages in HTML format.
After my signature below comes an example of how we are planning
to encode this using MIME. Any comments are welcome.
Very interesting. It strikes me though that instead of using
multipart/alternative with a text/plain part first, you could instead
attempt to reformat the HTML to make it easier on the eye of text-only
user agents, and leave it as a multipart/mixed. You have to reformat the
HTML anyway to produce the text version. Since most e-mail messages that
would use HTML as the main message text would probably only use simple
markup, this could be quite effective. HTML attachments and more complex
HTML documents would be sent as-is.
While multipart/alternative is not too bad for e-mail, it would be big
pain in the neck for USENET news. Most news messages are text/plain with
very little else. With careful formatting of HTML used for this purpose,
it could be possible to effect a gradual changeover to markup in news,
with text/html replacing text/plain.
I've always thought that the problem users had with text/enriched was that
user agents didn't attempt to make it easy on the eye through careful
reformating. Maybe we can fix that when HTML is used for the main message
text in a MIME context?
Just an idea ... no matter how you do it, being able to send messages with
HTML markup will be useful.