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Re: Line Wrapping Question

1996-02-09 10:20:41
One other point: one of text/enriched's goals was to be an "acceptable" 
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.

Part of the problem has been that some of the original programs generating
text/richtext and subsequently text/enriched did not pay any attention to how
their results looked on non-MIME-capable agents. And the results these agents
produced were pretty grotty, to put it mildly -- they were loaded with totally
unnecessary formatting options, line breaks were awful (I remember one that put
each word on a separate line), and so on. This has created an impression in
some quarters that text/enriched cannot be readable in and of itself, and this
really isn't true.

In many cases this wasn't really something these agents could control, as most
of them were inserts into existing backend output frameworks that were never
designed to cater to presentation of raw material containing formatting

Newer agents are much more careful about this and produce much more readable
output. In fact it may almost be too good -- I've been tricked into thinking I
was editing text/plain when in fact I was editing text/enriched, and I've seen
others fall into the same trap as well. (I guess there's always a downside...)

This doesn't mean that there are absolutely no problems with presenting
text/enriched on non-MIME-capable agents. There are. People will always find
things to complain about, like the customer who complained that a random
MIME-boundary generator had managed to produce something that looked vaguely
like profanity. And text/enriched is still a lot friendlier than text/html in
this regard.


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