Ashley Sheridan wrote:
On Thu, 2010-02-04 at 10:44 -0600, Skip Evans wrote:

Hey all,

First, let me say thanks for all the advice on Magento, and especially to Ryan who has used the beast and gave some great advice on skinning, links to some good docs and a book just for my designer. We'll be using and I'm looking forward to learning it.

But anyway...

I'm doing some maintenance work on a system that sends an email message using the multi-part boundaries to include both a plain text version and an HTML version of an email.

I've read up on this before, but never actually done it. So implementing the code was not a big issue, and in fact it works perfectly when tested on my Ubuntu machine using Thunderbird to test the HTML and Evolution to test the plain text version. In fact, I can switch formats on both of these and all looks great.

Enter Microsoft (Insert opening of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor to send chills up my readers' spines.)

On Outlook 2007 in HTML mode it renders, how can I put this... half-assedly. In text mode the whole things a bust. There is the HTML code all stuffed up at the top, boundary codes are visible, just plain awful.

Googling around I see articles from 2007 when that version of Outlook came out lamenting the fact that MS pulled the IE rendering engine from it and replaced it with MS Word's renderer to plug security holes expoitable via email.

Does anyone have any experience with HTML & plain text multi-part messages and Outlook 2007, or any tips how I can get this working? Still Googling, but any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Skip Evans, LLC
503 S Baldwin St, #1
Madison WI 53703
Those of you who believe in
telekinesis, raise my hand.
  -- Kurt Vonnegut

What about signing yourself up to some newsletters to see how they do

Looking at the ones I get from Facebook as an example, they use the
boundary codes you mentioned, and I can't see anything particularly
special that's been added. What order are you sending the two message
parts by the way? I think the traditional way is to send the plain/text
part first, so that UA's that don't understand or support multipart
messages only use the first one. As you mentioned that you're seeing
HTML code at the top, I'd hazard a guess that you're sending the HTML

The problem is most likely NOT his email structure, but the fact that Microsoft in all their lock-in, make things difficult, non standard, monopolistic philosophy chose to switch out the IE HTML renderer (which was getting pretty decent with IE7 and IE8) with the Office HTML renderer... so now basic things like CSS padding of something as simple as a <p> tag is not possible. You now need to use margins instead. The full list of supported attributes / CSS can be found here:

Obviously creating HTML emails was getting too easy (like it is with Thunderbird). Of course... I guess it could be as bad as Google stripping out the stylesheets entirely when viewing HTML content which forces you to put the styles on the tags themselves.

... actually I'm not sure what's worse... at least you can use standard styles with Google's gmail. Either way... making nice looking HTML emails that work across Outlook, Thunderbird, Gmail, Yahoo, and Hotmail is a pain in the ass.

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