[geeks] mail formatting (was Re: HD/IDE question)
Charles Shannon Hendrix
shannon at widomaker.com
Mon Oct 9 11:07:10 CDT 2006
Mon, 09 Oct 2006 @ 08:06 +0100, Mike Meredith said:
> On Sun, 8 Oct 2006 12:18:23 -0400, Charles Shannon Hendrix wrote:
> > > Nobody has used the defacto standards to render email text in an
> > > enhanced way (as far as I know) but there's no reason why it cannot
> > > be done. Making words *bold* and _emphasising_ them has been
> > > 'standard' for years, and emoticons aren't much younger. What else
> > > is really *needed* ?
> > That's not a codified standard,
> I know ... it's why I used the word "defacto". No reason why it couldn't
> be sensibly extended and made a codified standard.
Quite a few people said exactly that 15 years ago, at least that's the
earliest that I heard it.
> > and it does nothing for layout and things like that.
> If you spent more time thinking how it could work and less time thinking
> of reasons why it can't you might realise there are plenty of ways
> layout can (and are) expressed in plain text (think Wikis).
Less time trying to mind-read would result in fewer incorrect and
I thought about how it could work a long time ago, and so did a lot of
other people, but that's not what the industry and the user community
chose to do.
Instead, we have embedded HTML and CSS for email layouts which don't
really serve the purpose of multimedia email nor do they degrade to text
Wikis do not express layout, so I don't know what you are getting at
there. I think when you say layout you really mean structure.
> And to some extent you really don't want too much in the way of layout
Agreed, at least that's how you and I think it should be done.
However, a lot of users *DO* want it, and how they get it is with
embedded HTML and CSS.
> The way something is rendered should remain under the control of
> the recipient ...
Sure, but again, that isn't what users want. They want what they were
given in desktop applications: DTP.
It's ironic really, because most users absolutely suck at graphics and
layout work, and yet desktop software has focused on that as a primary
feature in nearly every application for a long time now.
Remember when database programs just let you create effective screen
forms and get work done?
Seen one lately? It looks more like doing mail-merge with Adobe
Illustrator than database forms.
All I'm saying is that if users are going to do DTP in email, and I
think they are, not to mention animation and music, then we should
have a standard that degrades (upgrades?) gracefully.
We don't, and that's why we're talking about it.
> you might be reading this on a huge high-resolution display, I might
> be using a mobile phone, someone else could be using a braille
> > People want to send postcards and "chart junk" to each other.
> Not too many people use window managers that let them turn the email
> window over. Don't MIME parts take care of extra content ? The only
> remaining bit is to optionally include those parts as part of the text
> body, and something like :-
MIME was supposed to do this, yes.
That isn't really how it worked out.
shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["All of us get lost in the darkness,
dreamers turn to look at the stars" -- Rush ]
More information about the geeks