[linux-elitists] HTML in e-mail

Bret Martin bam@miranda.org
Fri Aug 22 11:07:25 PDT 2003

On Thu, 21 Aug 2003 00:09:48 CDT Joakim Ziegler wrote:
> The point is, you can do nice-looking things with HTML email. Things
> that add information, help readability, and generally aid your message.
> I'm not saying that all HTML email does this, or even most. But you're
> blaming the tool for the use to which it has been put. Rich text
> representation is a good thing, there should generally be more of it, in
> my opinion (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).

This is exactly why I find this a difficult issue to resolve in my mind,
and what I was getting at with one of my original leading questions: 
"Is HTML e-mail inherently annoying, or is it just the way it's been
glued on the side of a traditionally plain text medium that is the

One of the folks I've dealt with recently on this issue is actually
pretty technical.  But whenever I ask him to not send HTML e-mail, his
response is along the lines of "but can I do bold text?  what do you
suggest I do if I need that?"

I have a fairly strong instinct to try to use the right tool for the job
at hand (as I'm sure all reading this do), and while I've survived for
years using just plain text in e-mail without really feeling restricted
in expression, something about telling people to squelch something they
feel adds some kind of palpable richness to their communications just
rubs that instinct the wrong way for me.


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