[linux-elitists] Seperating Content from Presentation

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Wed Jun 9 20:34:47 PDT 2004

On 10-Jun-2004, Mike MacCana wrote:
> On Thu, 2004-06-10 at 01:31, Jeff Kinz wrote:
> > Text wrapping is a separate issue from using html in email.
> Certainly. But its a comparable one, in  terms of its affect over the
> ability to display that information in some client software.

No.  The comparison fails at the point where we ask "what is the
necessary client configuration to read the message?"

For HTML email, you *must* have an HTML-capable client, that correctly
parses the flavour of HTML in the message.  That's a sharply limited

For plain-text, line-wrapped mail, any client that understands plain
text can show the message content for reading.  That includes *every*
mail client intended for interactive use.

Thus, the comparison to HTML email breaks.  You may have complaints
about line-wrapping, but attempting to show hypocrisy in this way fails.

> I disagree. I think assuming most people are reading their email in an
> eighty character wide display is, frankly, hilarious.

As do I.  Fortunately, line-wrapped text documents *do not* assume the
user is using a terminal of that width; the assumption is, rather, that
they are capable of displaying lines that long somehow.  The text
remains readable even if the assumption you pose is false.

 \       "A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of |
  `\                                        widths."  -- Steven Wright |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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