[linux-elitists] HTML in e-mail

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Fri Aug 22 01:17:17 PDT 2003

On 22-Aug-2003, M. Drew Streib wrote:
> No, you don't really need to know this post is from me, but in a world
> where processing power is supposed to be cheap (despite gnupg's
> slowness sometimes), my signature _should_ be inoffensive, and has on
> several occasions prompted conversation or inquiry.

I sign all my email, generating "application/pgp-signature" attachments,
because I want to promote the use of cryptography for all electronic
communication.  I believe the resulting environment will be a better one
than if it weren't used.

I reject HTML email, marked by "text/html" attachments, because I want
to discourage the use of presentation markup[0] for everyday text
communication.  I believe the resulting environment is a worse one than
if it weren't used.

These are subtle distinctions, and make it difficult to argue against
one while promoting the other.  Especially so when presenting the issue
for the first time to anyone who doesn't like my signatures, or who
wants to send me HTML email.

How would you[1] resolve this conflict?  (If you disagree with either of
the above two stances, obviously you don't need to resolve a conflict
between them.  But thanks for thinking of pointing that out to me.)

[0] Yes, HTML is supposed to be structural markup -- but its use in
email is *never* for structure, and *always* for presentation.

[1] M. Drew Streib, or any other reader of this message.

 \       "I went to a general store. They wouldn't let me buy anything |
  `\                                  specifically."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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