[linux-elitists] Seperating Content from Presentation

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Thu Jun 10 00:41:47 PDT 2004

On 10-Jun-2004, Mike MacCana wrote:
> On Thu, 2004-06-10 at 13:34, Ben Finney wrote:
> > 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 set.
> Not as much as most people think - again, as before, most maintained
> mail clients support this. mutt, evo mail.app, whatever. 

You still seem to be limiting your definition of "mail client" to
"interactive, user-controlled mail client for desktop workstations".
Examples of mail clients excluded by this are low-memory PDAs, low-spec
desktop workstations, web-interface mail archives, and (most
importantly) *devices we can't think of* yet.

Plain text is easily displayed on devices where an HTML parser smart
enough to handle the botchery of HTML email is entirely inappropriate.
This allows plain text email to be read easily on mail clients *not yet
designed*.  I consider this to be a worthwhile attribute.

> > For plain-text, line-wrapped mail, any client that understands plain
> > text can show the message content for reading.  
> But not properly. 

Eh?  Who decides "properly" again?

> I'm adamant that the amount of in-use mail clients that can show an
> HTML message properly is less than the amount of in-use mail clients
> that can read a 80-monospaced-character forced mail properly.

Well, I've tried to help you see that line wrapping *doesn't* force 80
columns on the user (hint: if they can read plain text, they can read a
plain text line-wrapped message), so if you still insist that's so I'll
bow out of the discussion.

 \             "I put contact lenses in my dog's eyes. They had little |
  `\   pictures of cats on them. Then I took one out and he ran around |
_o__)                                   in circles."  -- Steven Wright |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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