stop posting in html

Eugen Leitl
Mon, 1 Apr 2002 17:27:15 +0200 (CEST)

On 1 Apr 2002, Luis Villa 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

All I have to do is look into my inbox, where HTML use nicely correlates
with idiocy. In fact, HTML-only mail is 100% correlated with massive
drooling microcephals on the other end. Look at SpamAssassin's
(GA-derived) ranking of HTML-only mail, if you don't believe me.

> point is that it has no /cost/. If you're reading email in the same

Wrong, bucko. You have to parse it, and to render it. Which costs code.  
Code containing bugs. Occam's razor will cut you: do not put unnecessary
crap in. It will cost you, and it will hurt you.

> century I am, HTML email might have no benefits [it rarely does, we're
> agreed on that] but it also has no costs, except for the bits wasted
> in yelling about it. If every person who ever sent you HTML mail

You asked the musical question (I know nobody reads archives, ever, but
since you're an Old Timer, obviously, why did you feel the need to pose the 
question?), not me.

> recanted because of the bitching and said 'oh, I'm sorry, I'll only
> write plain text from now on' it would change the bitness level of
> your inbox exactly zero- they'd still send you idiotic shit, it would
> just be harder to filter out. So I still don't see what this dumb

You much overestimate the average idiot. Assuming, I'm stupid enough to 
tip them off (I'm not), and they're nice enough to comply (they're not), 
they couldn't find the option in their MUA (assuming, it's not the latest 
and greatest Outlook) if their life depended on it.

Idiots should use HTML in their email. In fact, they should use HTML-only, 
so that we can use automation to deal with them. Life is too short for 
anything else.

> quest to rid the world of HTML email buys anyne- there is no cost to
> it, and if you got rid of it, you still have the same level of shit in
> your inbox, so there aren't any benefits to getting rid of it either.

Another data point: you're describing a scenario that just doesn't occur 
in reality. So I don't have to deal with it.
> [And, FWIW, I frequently use HTML tables in email for reports and
> statistics that would be a PITA to write and difficult to read in plain
> text, so it very much has a point.]

If you're using tables, you should use some open standard, like comma 
separated stuff, or use one of this newfangled OpenOrifice XML formats.
> Oh, and if you're worried about 'attack angles' via email, you need a
> real operating system.

Wearing a kevlar vest doesn't make me bulletproof enough to make me stroll 
across sniper-covered terrain. The wise man will 1) wear the vest 2) not 
taunt the snipers by parading back and forth, while flipping them the bird
> > > Luis (honestly mystified why someone who uses mozilla to read mail cares
> > > about HTML mail)
> > 
> > You use Mozilla to read your email? You probably cut butter with a mallet,
> > too.
> Um, no... the person who originally complained about the HTML email uses
> moz. Read the headers. [Unless your client is incapable of that recent,
> mid-80s innovation.]

Your mother dresses you funny, too.
> > The amount of things you get consistently wrong makes me doubt about
> > Ximian. (In case you're representative of it). This not as a flame, but as 
> > an observation.
> Ah, yes. We're just a bunch of clueless fuckwits over here. Thanks for
> noticing. :) 
> Luis [impressed at the number and density of idiotic generalizations
> about groups of people that someone can pack into an email that doesn't
> mention race, religion, or politics]

But I *did* mention politics. *AND* religion.

Please, can we all get drunk now?