[linux-elitists] Seperating Content from Presentation

Jeff Kinz jkinz@kinz.org
Thu Jun 10 07:59:48 PDT 2004

Acronym Definition: "Widest Usable Format Email"  "WUFE"

Email that is text only, wrapped at approximately 72 chars wide
and has no html or other special format attributes embedded in it.

On Thu, Jun 10, 2004 at 01:16:31PM +1000, 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.


> > Consider the problem of email arriving to a small display device such
> > as a PDA or cell phone. No matter how you wrapped, or did not wrap your
> > text, there is a presentation problem. 
> Why? If you carriage return at end of a paragraph, it should be fine. If
> there's carriage returns in the middle of paragraphs at 80 lines, it
> won't.

I was merely trying to point out that even WUFE email will have to 
have special handling on small devices, so even WUFE is not a universally
solution.  I like to consider both the strengths and the weaknesses
on both sides of an issue and I was pointing out this weakness of WUFE.

> Of course, I don't generally recommend the unnecessary use of HTML (ie,
> where there's nothing that needs markup). But its a comparable situation
> - and an interesting one, because people tend to care less about the
> usability and accessability issues caused by eight character forced
> mail.
I agree.
> > > Consider: More currently maintained mail client have a chance of
> > > displaying your message properly if its in HTML than if its terminal
> > > limited.
> > 
> > This is a very self-centric world view.  Most of the people in the world
> > haven't access to the resources we have.  
> I disagree. I think assuming most people are reading their email in an
> eighty character wide display is, frankly, hilarious.

Frankly most people in the world don't get ANY email.  The online
population is currently somewhere between 0.5 billion and 1.2 billion.

You can see more data on world wide email population etc, here:

Please look again.  I made no statement that most people are reading
their email on 80 char screens.  However there are large numbers of 
people who do have to use some version of a text terminal to read their
email.  I realize that folks here in the High-tech world find this
hard to believe, but I have seen several installations, some with more
then 3000 user's where the main interface is PC running a terminal
emulator.  And that terminal emulator is the only software they are
allowed to run.  These are organizations which are very cost conscious.
They include state agencies, medical billing companies, insurance
companies, and non-profits.

> Mike
> _______________________________________________
> linux-elitists 
> http://zgp.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-elitists

Jeff Kinz,  Emergent Research,  Hudson, MA.  
"acceptthisofferbysendingmeemail@kinz.org" is copyright 2004.  
Use is restricted. Any use is an acceptance of the offer at
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"If anybody ever tells you that you're using the language incorrectly,
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The(re) is no such thing as correct usage; only common usage and prescribed usage. 

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