stop posting in html

Rodent of Unusual Size Ken.Coar@Golux.Com
Mon, 1 Apr 2002 10:24:20 -0500


* On 2002-04-01 at 10:04,
  Luis Villa <louie@ximian.com> excited the electrons to say:
> 
> On Mon, 2002-04-01 at 05:45, eugen@leitl.org wrote:
> > 
> > You're not getting it. The point of HTML in email is that it has no point.
> 
> You're not getting it either. The point is not that it has no point
> (unless you're claiming that HTML email is somehow inherently bitless in
> a way that the exact same content in plain-old-text isn't.) The point is
> that it has no /cost/.

That is very strong, and promotes growth.  Costs associated with
rich-format email include: additional bandwidth, storage, and cycles
to deal with the overhead of the tags; time for people who don't use
an inherently GUI MUA (even mutt [and probably pine] pops up a browser
window, which requires a visual context switch as well as handwaving
for focus), and time making all those ancillary network requests even
for those who *do* use a GUI MUA; replyability for non-GUI MUA users;
indigestibility to almost every single list digester on the planet;
and probably others.  So 'no cost' is a complete handwave.

When writing to a mixed audience, you gear the content and
presentation to reach the most people -- not the high-end ones.

> but it also has no costs, except for the bits wasted in yelling about
> it.

And that's a pretty bloody significant cost.

> Oh, and if you're worried about 'attack angles' via email, you need a
> real operating system.

More handwaving.  Web bugs have nothing to do with the OS, and
everything to do with the MUA -- and I don't know of a single MUA that
doesn't have some sort of vulnerability exposure when reading rich
email.  Do you?  And that's just an example.

Ah yes, there's another cost: having to go to the effort to defend
against stuff that Just Wouldn't Be A Problem if the mail were
plaintext.
-- 
#ken	P-)}

Ken Coar, Sanagendamgagwedweinini  http://Golux.Com/coar/
Author, developer, opinionist      http://Apache-Server.Com/

"Millennium hand and shrimp!"