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Re: Line Wrapping Question

1996-02-09 07:31:29
 Sorry to ask a stupid question, but why not use text/html instead of


Here's my take on it.  Millions of people are now using mail composition and
reading tools that support automatically wrapped text with very simple markup
(usually fonts and color, sometimes simple margins, alignment).  Text/enriched
is a good representation for that content and presentation material (personally
I wish it had been less schizoid with respect to procedural/semantic markup,
ie. had accepted that what was needed with precise procedural markup and had
actually provided precise margins, tabs, etc, but that's water under the

text/html provides no special benefits for this type of content and is
significantly more complex to parse and layout.  It's therefore much less
likely that all mail readers/gateways etc will do something "useful" with it
(that is, convert it to a readable plain text representation).

That said, text/html is obviously going to be a major content type in MIME
mail, and mail vendors would find it well worth it to make the presentation of
text/html natural and seamless.  But I don't think it makes sense to take your
normal casual email note and convert it to text/html.

One other point: one of text/enriched's goals was to be an "acceptable" format,
even for non MIME mail readers.  While text/enriched is readable, I think must
vendors have found it is not "acceptable".  That is, if our customers are
sending mail to recipients without MIME software, they don't want to send
text/enriched, in the same way that they don't want to send QP - any oddities
make the sender look bad.  That's too bad, because it means slowly growing the
community to be distributing text/enriched rather than text/plain (when
text/enriched is the appropriate form for the presentation and content) has
proven difficult.  Not sure what to do about that, but if we keep on urging
vendors, including gateways,  to support text/enriched, than eventually we'll
get to a point where it is acceptable to send since few recipients will
actually see any oddities.

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