On Sun, Jul 04, 2010 at 11:43:59AM -0400, Al wrote:

> I know this is a bit off-topic; but close enough.
> I'm starting to update the email feature of one of my DB applications and
> noticed that it appears most of the fancy emails I receive are using
> just plain
> old, simple html pages, with a note about not being able to see, go here
> with a
> link.
> It use to be that we specified content-type text/html, etc. and sent both the
> plain ASCII and the html with boundaries and so forth.
> Seems like, from my preliminary Google searching, I should not waste
> time with
> the standard's way and just go straight to sending simple html pages
> since all
> modern browsers handle it well. And, it appears to be the way web is going.
> What are you folks doing?

I use mutt for email, so I only see the text portion. That make me an
anomaly. However, for example there are various listserv software that
will not allow HTML in emails.

Here is the real problem with HTML email. Any straight text message will
swell to many times its size when you HTML-ize it. Okay, so now you're
sending the message around the internet to perhaps hundreds or thousands
of users, using up many times the bandwidth that the actual message
really needs. It's like installing a 100w light bulb when a 60w will do.
There's simply no reason to suck CPU cycles all over the internet just
to make your message "prettier".

I understand that the functions of email and browser seem to be merging.
However, this is what I would consider a bad trend. It stems from folks
like Microsoft who have convinced people, for example, that spreadsheets
function perfectly well as databases. They don't, but that doesn't stop
people from using Excel to keep their mailing lists.

Of course, opinions like mine won't stop the merging of browsing and
reading email. Ah well.


Paul M. Foster

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