Bart Silverstrim <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> No. Nothing. Format=flowed applies solely to plain-text messages. HTML
> messages already have something functionally equivalent to f=f: the
> <BLOCKQUOTE> attribute, which... um... quotes blocks of text. When f=f
> mailers that also can handle HTML encounter <BLOCKQUOTE> text, its
> usually marked up with the same excerpt bars were familiar with from
> f=f. Format=flowed isnt actually at work there, but since
> <BLOCKQUOTE> text flows nicely when you resize a window, the effect is
> the same.

Your msg there is first for me -- one that (sorta) properly claims to
be using a MSFT custom characater set.  It's more typical for MSFT
supporters' software to use WINDOWS-1252 and either call it ISO-8859-1
or call it nothing (which implies ISO-8859-1).  Apple's is at least
being honest about it.

  Mime-Version: 1.0 (Apple Message framework v613)
  Content-Type: text/plain; charset=WINDOWS-1252; format=flowed
  Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

But sadly, many (most?) mail non-MSFT mail readers don't understand
those WINDOWS-1252 characters even they're properly labeled.  So we
see your smart quotes, etc., as "?" or in octal as "\222", etc.  Makes
it look real pretty.

I've never heard of this f=f stuff and don't have time just now to
investigate, but I'll keep typing anyway.  I think the problem is
the same but worse.  f=f is probably spec'd in a new draft RFC and
many mail readers don't support it, so your correspondents on a list
list this can't handle it well.

Plain text mail was (and still is, really) spec'ed in RFC-822, but I
think it's reasonable to assume that everyone can deal with the newer
RFC-2822.  Both require that plain text message be able to be read
without reformatting by the mail reader.  Unfortunately, they don't
specify a width.  It's reasonable and traditional to expect people to
have terminals or windows that display 80 characters wide, but to
accomodate traditional quoting, etc, it's a good idea to keep the
width of new stuff within 70, though many people use 72 (ala punch
cards and old FORTRANs).

There's been a few attempts to establish a plain text format that
assumes that mail readers will reformat incoming mail, and it sounds
like f=f is one of them.  But their still not safe bets unless you
know your correspondents can handle the format.  With traditional
mail readers, one doesn't WANT the reader to reformat mail, because,
for example, it makes a mess of programming code or text tables.
My mail reader can be configured to let long lines go off the end,
requiring horz. scrolling to see it or it wraps lines mid-word at
the edge of the screen.  I find it nasty to read stuff longer than
120 characters, while for many it's 80 or some other, but people
won't complain if you keep it to 80 and assume that your readers
have to scroll horiz. to read stuff wider than 80.
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