[linux-elitists] HTML in e-mail

Tim Hammerquist tim+linux-elitists@vegeta.ath.cx
Thu Aug 21 18:25:28 PDT 2003

Joakim Ziegler wrote:
> Are they, though? I mean, animated, sure, that's a bad idea.
> But the people who would put animated GIFs in their HTML email
> would likely write plain text email that would annoy the hell
> out of you too. Newbies being annoying in mail/on usenet was
> not invented at the moment HTML became available.


> [...] (yeah, you can do *bold* and /italic/, but if you
> actually think that's equally readable, you've spent way too
> long in front of a shell), and other formatting.

And your point is?  ;)

> (one can argue over whether or not HTML is the right format to
> use for rich text email, but it's there, it's easy, so why
> not).

RTF is an encoding type of its own which is not near so bloated.

> The malware argument is because of broken clients.

Yes, and it's just fitting that the people who send the most
HTML email are the most likely to be victims of associated

> The wasteful argument, well, that's slightly ridiculous in
> today's world of 100k+ HTML pages and multi-megabit home
> internet connections.

Multi-megabit DSL connexion: check, but only in the last couple
months.  It's still not available where I used to live.

100k+ HTML (assuming "web") pages: don't visit them.

I always cringe when someone makes that sort of argument, whether
it relates to bandwidth, memory, CPU cycles, or disk space.  One
of Linux' greatest strengths is that it can still make effective
use of computer hardware long forsaken by Microsoft.  Why should
we let the web fall victim to the same tendencies that
proprietary software has shown?

Some inflation is normal, though unfortunate[1], but Linux (and
the Unix(TM) family of operating systems haven't gain an edge by
wastefully using resources.

* Unix is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

[1] I recalled compiling the infamous "Hello, world" C program
into a ~40-50k .EXE binary in Borland C++ on MS-DOS 5.0.  For
fun, I tried the same experiment on my Debian system:

    /* test.c */
    #include <stdio.h>
    int main()
        printf("Hello, world\n");
        return 0;


    % make test
    % ls -l test
    -rwxr-xr-x    1 user     users        4164 2003-08-21 17:47 test

4k?!  Cool!  But wait, that's a dynamic:

    % ldd test
        libc.so.6 => /lib/libc.so.6 (0x40025000)
        /lib/ld-linux.so.2 => /lib/ld-linux.so.2 (0x40000000)
    % ls -lL `ldd test | cut -f3 -d' '`
    -rwxr-xr-x   1 root   root    82456 2003-03-21 08:19 /lib/ld-linux.so.2
    -rwxr-xr-x   1 root   root  1104040 2003-03-21 08:19 /lib/libc.so.6

The DOS one wasn't dynamic.  Let's try this again:

    % gcc -static -o test test.c
    % ls -l test
    -rwxr-xr-x    1 user     users      420580 2003-08-21 17:47 test

That's more like it.  Still a big jump from 50k, but for over 10
years, that's acceptable to me.


500KB web sites aren't, though.  :-/

Tim Hammerquist
> ...any ideas on how to make vim behave like the 'tail' command in unix?
On my system "cp /usr/bin/tail /usr/local/bin/vim" does the trick,
though Vi compatibility is subsequently somewhat impaired.
    -- Matthew Winn in vim@vim.org ML
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