SPUG: dealing with HTML on list (was: Independent project)

BenRifkah Bergsten-Buret mail.spammagnet at gmail.com
Mon Aug 11 21:39:26 PDT 2008

On Mon, Aug 11, 2008 at 3:53 PM, Andrew Sweger <andrew at sweger.net> wrote:
> Is there general interest from the members to employ these features? Any
> questions? Debate?

It sounds like it's probably an unpopular opinion, but I find
judicious use of HTML email extremely useful.  This mostly comes in
handy for my co-workers and users I support.  HTMLified lists of
instructions/action items, bold face for peoples names, and hiding
lengthy URL noise behind a couple of linked words have all been
extremely helpful.

I've also found it helpful on technical lists for formatting command
lines and code snippets in fixed width fonts, and especially for
highlighting subtle differences when helping people with bugs.

Aside from obvious (for this list) misuses that hinder readability -
such as fancy tiled backgrounds and cutesy fonts - my only peeve is
not with HTML email but with the mail clients.  Many clients mangle
HTML when displaying, replying and forwarding.  This can render can
affect any HTML email, even messages that use it sparingly.  But in my
mind the solution is not to ban HTML because the clients don't handle
it well.  This would be like banning guns because a lot of people
misuse them, or banning Perl because many of its users write line

<sar^H^H^H^H=for sarcasm
If we're going to ban HTML because it's easier for clients to parse
then we might as well change the list focus to Python because it's
easier for minds to parse.

-- Ben

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