Can anybody tell me how to send HTML-format mail in gnus

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M.T

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Aug 5, 2008, 12:44:22 PM8/5/08
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thanks very much.

Evans Winner

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Aug 6, 2008, 3:17:00 PM8/6/08
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qin...@163.com (M.T) writes:

I am surprised that no one has answered your question, if
only to scold you about how evil HTML emails are -- with
which I generally agree, but sometimes they can be useful.

I don't know if there is a native way in gnus to do it, but
the Emacs Muse package (at least version 3.12 -- the one I
have) has a handy function called `muse-message-markup. If
you are in a mail buffer you write your Email as normal text
but with the simple Muse markup syntax and then M-x
muse-message-markup RET and the message is reformatted as an
HTML email. Then just send it.

Dunno if that's helpful, but I figure it beats being
ignored.

M.T

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Aug 6, 2008, 4:37:18 PM8/6/08
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Evans Winner <tho...@timbral.net> writes:

thank you very much.I am just using an not that simple
method.powered by MIME lib,we can include html codes like
this:

>

Jashy

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Aug 6, 2008, 6:21:55 PM8/6/08
to Help-gn...@gnu.org

1. M-x mml-insert-part enter
2. Content type: text/html

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Tim X

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Aug 7, 2008, 1:09:29 AM8/7/08
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qin...@163.com (M.T) writes:

>> > I wrote my article in muse,and compile it to html,
> and then load those above and then C-x i insert the
> html file generated by muse,and then send it to
> ***@blogger.com. And that allows me to enjoy the convinent
> and power of muse and can also easy update my blog.
> Your reply is really helpful,I appriciate it very much.
> and i think i can now working all in one enviroment.
> that's fun.
>

In general, HTML in mail messages is a bad thing. However, this does
appear to be a special case. One thing to note is that if sending HTML
mail, it really should consist of both a plain text part and an HTML
part to comply with relevant mail rfcs. Note also that many anti spam
filters will block e-mails that only contain HTML and odn't comply with
the rfc standards. furthermore, many mail readers will not display the
HTML correctly if it isn't written correctly.

With respect to blogger, there is a package called g-client written by
T.V. Raman that provides an emacs interface to many google services
(gcalendar, gphoto, greader, gblogger etc). The package is bundled with
emacspeak, but can be used without it. The emacspeak and g-client
packages are hosted on google code.

Tim
--
tcross (at) rapttech dot com dot au

Xah

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Aug 7, 2008, 10:34:14 AM8/7/08
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Tim X wrote:
«In general, HTML in mail messages is a bad thing.»

HTML in email is a very good thing.

From the technology point of view, it is far more powerful. For
example, it can contain links, bold text, coloring, embedded images,
etc. The bulkier than plain text in size, of course, but in today's
youtube days, this doesn't matter. Also not, if my 10 years old email
transmission protocol knowledge is not outdated, then email is still
sent by first converting to a ascii encoding. This is invented by the
unix folks, which is extremely inefficient.

From the social point of view, HTMl is also far more useful, and
people wants the ability to have colored text, embed images, etc. I
don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
90% of email traffics today, are in html. Human animals, collectively,
want it.

Arguably, another format, such as rich text that is espoused by Apple
computer's email progrm ( ~2002 to ~2006 and no support for html
mail), is a better tech than HTML for rich text in email. But for
whatever social reasons it didn't catch on. Html is the de facto
standard today for rich text in email.

I wrote a essay back in 2002 detailing my thoughts on this:

Plain-Text Email Fetish
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/plain_text.html

Also, as i mentioned before, tools used by tech geekers usually have 5
or more so years lagging in catching up with any tech that are being
adapted in the commercial world. For example, HTML email has basically
became the standard in Microsoft since maybe 2002?, and html is widely
supported or in fact default format for commercial web based service
provider since many years ago too.

Emacs's rmail, should adopt the ability to send HTML mail. It is my
guess, that it will adopt it eventually. The question is just how many
more years later?

convenient Wikipedia link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_e-mail


Xah
http://xahlee.org/

Cor Gest

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Aug 7, 2008, 11:17:49 AM8/7/08
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Some entity, AKA Xah <xah...@gmail.com>,
wrote this mindboggling stuff:
(selectively-snipped-or-not-p)

> HTML in email is a very good thing.

That is utter CRAP, if you think that a message, dolled-up more
than a cathouse on X-mas'eve has more information than the same text
in ascii, you really ought to learn to read.

Cor

PS
If you do not like my opinion, buy another !

--
Mijn Tools zijn zo modern dat ze allemaal eindigen op 'saurus'
(defvar My-Computer '((OS . "GNU/Emacs") (IPL . "GNU/Linux")))
SPAM DELENDA EST http://www.clsnet.nl/mail.php
1st Law of surviving armed conflict : Have a gun !

Xah

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Aug 7, 2008, 12:50:23 PM8/7/08
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Xah Lee wrote:
«

HTML in email is a very good thing.
...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_e-mail
»

On Aug 7, 8:17 am, Cor Gest <c...@clsnet.nl> wrote:
«That is utter CRAP, if you think that a message, dolled-up more than


a cathouse on X-mas'eve has more information than the same text in

ascii, you really ought to learn to read.»

well, HTML is technically superior simply because it can do a lot more
things.

In the mid 1990s, a lot tech geeker seriously think that the web
should remain in plain text or <pre>. They say exactly what you are
saying now. If you do research on newsgroup archive, i bet you can
still dig up lots of such arguments.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


M.T

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Aug 7, 2008, 1:14:25 PM8/7/08
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Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

I think html is too complex for email.We do need some tags language which
enable us to give our mail a nice look.But html is a bad design.Because it
mix the perfomance and the meaning,I think XHTML+css is a better choice,
but we need a simplifed version of it.Something like MUSE or LATEX,if our
clients perform defferent with the same codes,even the worst situation,
we know
#title somethin
is title
or
\title{something}
is title

with no limit of network,i think more powerful ways to express ourself is
worthy of try.

i am sorry my english is very poor ...

regards
all

Evans Winner

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Aug 7, 2008, 2:07:36 PM8/7/08
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Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

well, HTML is technically superior simply because it can
do a lot more things.

I am not sure this reasoning follows very well. Certainly
the ability to do many things is nice, but they have to be
the right things. One functionality that HTML lacks is the
ability to be a simple, portable plain ascii message, which
sounds like I am being circular, but really, for most
people, that is the single most important feature of email.

Cor Gest

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Aug 7, 2008, 2:12:39 PM8/7/08
to
Some entity, AKA Xah <xah...@gmail.com>,
wrote this mindboggling stuff:
(selectively-snipped-or-not-p)

>well, HTML is technically superior simply because it can do a lot more
>things.

So is a F16 compared to my bicycle. but the bike beats getting a
pork-chop at a corner store.

HTTP is NOT mail!

Well, nearly all junkmail IS html anyway. so you really must be a
closet-spammer in promoting that junk.

Cor

Xah

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Aug 7, 2008, 2:32:42 PM8/7/08
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On Aug 7, 10:14 am, qing...@163.com (M.T) wrote:
> Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:
>
> I think html is too complex for email.We do need some tags language which
> enable us to give our mail a nice look.But html is a bad design.Because it
> mix the perfomance and the meaning,I think XHTML+css is a better choice,
> but we need a simplifed version of it.Something like MUSE or LATEX,if our
> clients perform defferent with the same codes,even the worst situation,
> we know
> #title somethin
> is title
> or
> \title{something}
> is title

I agree with you that HTML is complex.

Some technology just move on its own by social forces. Some say perl
is complex and ugly, or that php is more worse but seems better. But
if you work as sys admin or web coding, these are the tech you are
stuck with.

For rich text in email, there are conceivably many better designed
techs. For better or worse, HTML or its derivative, is the de facto
standard.

(note here that many standards used today came from unix in the 1980.
Such as truncating email lines, the semantic confusive email quoting
convention “>”, the ascii transmission in email protocol, the so-
called “mbox” email format, etc.)

> with no limit of network,i think more powerful ways to express ourself is
> worthy of try.
>
> i am sorry my english is very poor ...

No problem at all!

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Emmett Grogan

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Aug 7, 2008, 6:23:52 PM8/7/08
to help-gn...@gnu.org
Xah is a smart guy. His emacs and elisp tutorials are the best I ever read.

I am also an older guy like Richard and Eli. Nevertheless I am one of
the look straight ahead to the future guys. I love emacs since almost 20
years and I think Xah is right in each single detail of his views on the
modernisation of emacs issue. Xah speaks out what people like me are
always thinking. Please give Xah a chance!

Regards
-Emmett


Sivaram Neelakantan

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Aug 8, 2008, 12:59:11 AM8/8/08
to help-gn...@gnu.org
Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

> Tim X wrote:
> «In general, HTML in mail messages is a bad thing.»
>
> HTML in email is a very good thing.
>
> From the technology point of view, it is far more powerful. For
> example, it can contain links, bold text, coloring, embedded images,
> etc. The bulkier than plain text in size, of course, but in today's
> youtube days, this doesn't matter. Also not, if my 10 years old email
> transmission protocol knowledge is not outdated, then email is still
> sent by first converting to a ascii encoding. This is invented by the
> unix folks, which is extremely inefficient.
>
> From the social point of view, HTMl is also far more useful, and
> people wants the ability to have colored text, embed images, etc. I
> don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
> 90% of email traffics today, are in html. Human animals, collectively,
> want it.

[...]
It might be old fashioned but I'd prefer the lowest common denominator
in getting my point across varying vintage MUAs in use. And as someone
mentioned earlier, spam is pretty much HTML and I risk getting my mail
binned by someone elses' spam filter.

And if lighting up the email to get my attention is the reason for
going in for HTML, then someone's trying too hard.

I've received humongous HTML mails that just had one line of text in
it. The rest were all pictures, templates and other doodads. Most of
Microsoft email clients seem to be ones doing it; though there are
ways to turn it off in them, few seem to do it.

sivaram
--

Tim X

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Aug 8, 2008, 1:54:41 AM8/8/08
to
Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

> Tim X wrote:
> «In general, HTML in mail messages is a bad thing.»
>
> HTML in email is a very good thing.
>

I disagree

> From the technology point of view, it is far more powerful. For
> example, it can contain links, bold text, coloring, embedded images,
> etc. The bulkier than plain text in size, of course, but in today's
> youtube days, this doesn't matter. Also not, if my 10 years old email
> transmission protocol knowledge is not outdated, then email is still
> sent by first converting to a ascii encoding. This is invented by the
> unix folks, which is extremely inefficient.
>

Nobody can predict the future with any accuracy. When e-mail was firs
implemented, nobody realised how big it would grow and how pervasive it
would become. It is very easy to be critical with the benefit of
hindsight. for example, basing it on 7-bit characters failed to consider
the needs of languages that won't fit within a 7 bit representation, but
rightly or wrongly, internationalisation of software didn't become a
real consideration until much later.. Even worse, nobody had the
foresight to consider the scurge of spam.

There are a lot of things that could be improved concerning e-mail and
its basic infrastructure, but adding HTML to the mess is certainly not
one of them and I'm a long way from being convinced that if we did want
to add additional control over presentation of e-mail messages that HTML
is the answer.

> From the social point of view, HTMl is also far more useful, and
> people wants the ability to have colored text, embed images, etc. I
> don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
> 90% of email traffics today, are in html. Human animals, collectively,
> want it.
>

You frequently like to quote these bogus percentages. If you don't hae
any real figures, they are completely pointless. You also need to
acknowledge that your subjective experiences are not the same as
the rest of the world. It is these sorts of unfounded claims and bogus
facts that undermines many of your arguements. I suspect it also
diminishes what many think of your opinions and is likely counter
productive to what you want to achieve.

Up until recently, I administered an e-mail system that processed
gigabytes of mail per day. While there was a fair amount of HTML based
mail, it was less than 50% and nearly 80% of that was just spam. I will
readily admit that this is just what I observed in my small corner of
the world and this only represents a user base of just over 30,000
accounts.

I disagree with your suggestion that HTML is technically superior. You
can't just make a sweeping statement like that without actually defining
what it is that e-mail is supposed to provide. As someone else pointed
out, an F16 is technically superior to a bicycle, but if allyou want to
do is go to the corner shop, that technical superiority is not only a
waste, but also a handicap.

HTML based e-mail has also had the negative tecnical consequence of
increasing the number of security issues and exposing users to more
vulnerabilities. It has also wasted huge amount of resources due to the
huge increase in message sizes, provides extremely difficult spam
detection problems (i.e. using pictures to embed spam text, making it
almost impossible to detect effectively via a scan for known spam text)
all of which resulting in the need for more bandwidth, more mail servers
with more memory and storage and more hardware to perform anti-spam
processes - all of which leads to higher costs for all of us. It also
ignores the fact that there are still millions of people who don't have
broadband and for whom every extra byte of data is an issue.

My experience has also been that the majority of people who are
insistant on using HTML in the mail have little substance in their
content. If what you write has real substance, the formatting is almost
irrelevant.


> Arguably, another format, such as rich text that is espoused by Apple
> computer's email progrm ( ~2002 to ~2006 and no support for html
> mail), is a better tech than HTML for rich text in email. But for
> whatever social reasons it didn't catch on. Html is the de facto
> standard today for rich text in email.
>

There are lots of things that become defacto standards, but this doesn't
make them necessarily a good thing. Your arguements appear to be very
much of the popularist variety - lots of people do it, therefore it must
be good or the correct way. In reality, most people don't care and don't
even know its going on.

> Also, as i mentioned before, tools used by tech geekers usually have 5
> or more so years lagging in catching up with any tech that are being
> adapted in the commercial world. For example, HTML email has basically
> became the standard in Microsoft since maybe 2002?, and html is widely
> supported or in fact default format for commercial web based service
> provider since many years ago too.
>

It is true that Microsoft is very much responsible for the growth in
HTML based e-mail. This is largely due to the fact that it was at one
time the default setting. I have found that often, when I've asked someone not
to send e-mail in HTML format, they are actually surprised to find out
that they were i.e. many people don't even realise their mail is being
formatted in HTML. The point is that just because many people use it
you cannot conclude they are doing so because they want it. In fact, the
number of HTML e-mails that are anything other than a very poor
formatting of just text far outweighs those where the author is actively
formatting their text with features provided by HTML.

My emacs mail client gives me the choice of viewing mail in HTML or
plaiin text. I choose plain text because it is faster and because the
HTML version doesn't give me any added value. Note also that links in my
text messages are clickable and just as convenient as they would be in
HTML, but without all the additional overhead. I can also view image
attachments etc. So, all that HTML can really give me are possibly
different fonts and colours - I prefer to manage those myself and not
have someone else dictate them and as mentioned above, few people
actually use these formatting features anyway.

If/when I decide to
process my e-mail on my phone, I also want it in plain text because I
don't want to have to have additional software to render HTML for simple
messages that I'm reading on a small screen. I wold rather be using my
limited phone memory, processing power and battery to do things that are
necessary and not waste it on fluff that gives no real added value.

> Emacs's rmail, should adopt the ability to send HTML mail. It is my
> guess, that it will adopt it eventually. The question is just how many
> more years later?
>

This may happen. Then again, there is a growing user base for 'markdown'
rather than markup, which is remarkably similar to the concepts of 'rich
text' and has the added benefit of still being quite readable without
being rendered. The growth of things like IM, SMS, Twitter etc could
also see a complete change in the landscape and e-mail as we know it
will begin to morph into a completely different format that is better
suited to smaller personal devices, such as PDAs and mobile phones.

I'm skeptical we will see much of an adoption of HTML in emacs mail
clients for sending of e-mail. There just isn't any real benefit. There
are also far bigger issues with e-mail that will need to be addressed
and I suspect we will see a complete change in the landscape before we
see much happen with respect to authoring of e-mail in HTML. If we do
see something along the lines of a full markup language, lets hope its
something easier to format and process, such as XML.

tim

Eli Zaretskii

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Aug 8, 2008, 4:15:24 AM8/8/08
to help-gn...@gnu.org
> Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2008 00:23:52 +0200
> From: Emmett Grogan <emmett...@freenet.de>

>
> Xah is a smart guy. His emacs and elisp tutorials are the best I ever read.

They are also loaded with propaganda and skewed information that
clearly show that their author has his own agenda.

A good tutorial in my book is a tutorial that shows the reader how to
make the best use of the described tools. A tutorial is not supposed
to critique these tools, nor preach to tweaking these tools in ways
they were never supposed to be used.

Imagine a tutorial on using a car that devotes its main parts to
explaining how to dismantle the car and assemble a tank out of its
parts. That's how Xah's ``tutorials'' read to me.

The way Xah's ``tutorials'' are written they are actually blogs, not
tutorials. I have nothing against blogs, but let's not call each
thing by the name it deserves.


Eli Zaretskii

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Aug 8, 2008, 4:27:30 AM8/8/08
to help-gn...@gnu.org
> Date: Fri, 08 Aug 2008 11:15:24 +0300
> From: Eli Zaretskii <el...@gnu.org>

>
> I have nothing against blogs, but let's not call each thing by the
> name it deserves. ^^^

"let's call each thing by the name it deserves"

Sorry.

Xah

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Aug 8, 2008, 8:20:23 AM8/8/08
to

the ability to send and display html email in a email app does not
exclude the ability to send plain text. You can still set your email
program to receive only plaintext, or even at the email server level.

Tech and society matches on. Many unix apps, use line based plain text
as config file. Some tech geekers insists that's still superior than
XML. These tools, largely just fell out of use. XML for example, is
becoming the standard for config files replacing line-based plain
text. For example, Apple's OSX has adopted XML for this throughout
since maybe 2003.

It's one thing to argue about some ideal technical superiority, it's
another to consider what's really happening out there for a product to
survive. Emacs is not a commercial app, so there's not much survival
pressure. It simply got dwindling users, more and more esoteric
“elite” tech geekers.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Xah

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Aug 8, 2008, 8:35:43 AM8/8/08
to

Your preference is great. I also, actually prefer plain text email.

This shouldn't offset the need to support html mail. If you don't want
html mail, you can set up your email app to display plain text only,
or at the mail server level.

For example, if emacs's rmail support html mail, this thread wouldn't
have started.

As for spam, it's a different issue as i explained in another email.
It is true that most spams are in HTML. However, before HTML became
the standard, spams are in plain text with attachement, and before
MIME with attachemet becomes popular, spam are just plain text then.
Spam simply got worse and worse over the past 20 years i've used
email, whatever is the current tech in email. In fact, its probably
easier to detect spam in html mail than plain text. (i actually blame
the worsening of spam to tech geekers's lack of social understanding.
See
“Tech geeker vs Spammers”
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/tech_geekers_vs_spammers.html
)

Note here also, that many tech geekers vociferously opposed the MIME
standard, saying its bloat. It just happens, and OpenSource tools just
adopts it some 5 years later.

«And if lighting up the email to get my attention is the reason for
going in for HTML, then someone's trying too hard.»

Tech geekers like to think that way. But “lighting up the email” is
not the primary use of rich text mail. Think of the whole education
industry, online commerce, in corporate communication. The need for
rich text email is simply a necessacity.

Back in 2000, i stopped using emacs rmail, because it simply cannot
support the corporate need for email. (at the time, it was the lack of
ability to send receive attachment) In a company, they'll send MS
Word, diagrams, or whatever that needs to get the point across. Most
people in a company, are not techies. e.g. human resource department,
graphics department, etc, sometimes including your manager. You cant
even begin to tell them “why are you using html with a single line of
plain text”? Considered on the whole, it's actually good that way
because for htem to spend days to learn about the technical details,
is actually a waste of time when the whole company, society, is
considered. To force everyone in the world to learn about plain text
vs html mail and when it is right to use which, is a unnecessary
inefficiency.

Another personal story: I needed rich text in email in around ~2002
for my server of “A Word A Day”. (it's a mailing list where i sent out
a english word a day. See http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/Vocabulary_dir/new.html
) I need coloring and highlight in the email. I was using Apple's Mail
program to send out email. At the time, Apple's Mail program does not
support sending out HTML mail. It has a rtf format based rich text
instead. However, the rtf formatted mail does not work in yahoo
groups. So, the effect is that i couldn't do highlighting. I was in a
mac mailing list at the time (lots of mac fanatics). I discussed
this... and basically got flamed. (i'm eventually ban'd in the list
for basically being too controversial)
But now, Apple Mail support HTML, and ditched its rich-text format for
email. This essay
“Plain-Text Email Fetish”
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/plain_text.html
was originally one of the post there.

Another story: i have a white american friend, who is a philosopher,
currently teaching in university. (have several friends who are math
professors) These peopple usually don't know shit about programing,
but are nevertheless intelligent and knowledgable. This philosophy
friend always send me email in html, often with smily icons. I'm like,
jesus, Paul, what you have a need to fold the whole email or coloring
parts of it? It annoys me. But i can't really say that to him. It's
crazy. You can't even begin to tell them what's “wrong”. It's like
telling your grandma mouse pads not supposed to be coffee mug pads. If
you actually spend time on these things, you'll have no time to do
anything other thing in life.

in terms of modernization, there are many possible improvements with
emacs. I wouldn't have suggest support html email in rmail since it's
rather a bigger project and hopeless to convience tech geekers. Nobody
is actually using rmail for email tese days anyway except a handful of
geek clique. I myself stopped using any of the classic plain-text
email programs since early 2000. (pine, rmail, vm, gnus, mutt, unix
mail) I stopped using them because it just can't do the job anymore,
despite whatever ideology that email should be plain text. It is my
guess that most professional programers who grew up with these
programs, also stopped using them out of necessity.

if you think this is a good idea, just send a bug report to gnu then.
In emacs, under the menu “Help‣Send bug report”.

I'll prob stop discussion this issue.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Xah

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Aug 8, 2008, 9:11:20 AM8/8/08
to

I agree HTML is the not best technology for rich text in email.
However, it is just the world's standard.

> > From the social point of view, HTMl is also far more useful, and
> > people wants the ability to have colored text, embed images, etc. I
> > don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
> > 90% of email traffics today, are in html. Human animals, collectively,
> > want it.
>
> You frequently like to quote these bogus percentages. If you don't hae
> any real figures, they are completely pointless.
> You also need to
> acknowledge that your subjective experiences are not the same as
> the rest of the world. It is these sorts of unfounded claims and bogus
> facts that undermines many of your arguements. I suspect it also
> diminishes what many think of your opinions and is likely counter
> productive to what you want to achieve.

It's not bogus. If you take the time to research, i think you wouldn't
call them bogus.

For example, in my last post i linked to Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_e-mail
which contains this paragraph:

«
Since its conception, a number of people have vocally opposed all HTML
e-mail (and even MIME itself), for a variety of reasons. While still
considered inappropriate in many newsgroup postings and mailing lists,
its adoption for personal and business mail has only increased over
time. Some of those who strongly opposed it when it first came out now
see it as mostly harmless.[2]

According to surveys by online marketing companies, adoption of HTML-
capable email clients is now nearly universal, with less than 3%
reporting that they use text-only clients.[3] A smaller number, though
still the majority, prefer it over plain text.[4]
»

> Up until recently, I administered an e-mail system that processed
> gigabytes of mail per day. While there was a fair amount of HTML based
> mail, it was less than 50% and nearly 80% of that was just spam. I will
> readily admit that this is just what I observed in my small corner of
> the world and this only represents a user base of just over 30,000
> accounts.

What comapany or type of company? i mean, what context?

for example, if you admin some Open Source oriented community, sure
there's a lot plain text.

Of the most largest email hoster in the world, gmail, msn, yahoo, are
probably some 80% market share in terms of email traffic. (again, a
rough guess. You can do research on the web i think the result is in
agreement. I use percentage just to be precise, instead of the more
fuzzy “majority”, “large number”, etc.)
So, i'd say if you examp gmail, msn, yahoo, probably the bulk of their
email format is html. In fact, the email account prob default to html,
and or, any email received is converted to html anyway.

> I disagree with your suggestion that HTML is technically superior. You
> can't just make a sweeping statement like that without actually defining
> what it is that e-mail is supposed to provide. As someone else pointed
> out, an F16 is technically superior to a bicycle, but if allyou want to
> do is go to the corner shop, that technical superiority is not only a
> waste, but also a handicap.

HTML is simply technically superior. Sure, F15 is better than bicycle
but ridiculous. However, HTML is better than plain text in email is
not ridiculous. It is the standard the world uses by large, and people
want rich text in email. Wikipedia says the support for html email in
email programs is 97%.

> HTML based e-mail has also had the negative tecnical consequence of
> increasing the number of security issues and exposing users to more
> vulnerabilities.

Yeah, so does lots tech has security issues. Some sys admin refuses to
install emacs an production server, and i was pissed. Did you know
that unix is traditinoally the most insecure system?

See:
“Fast Food The UNIX Way”
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/_fastfood_dir/fastfood.html

> It has also wasted huge amount of resources due to the
> huge increase in message sizes, provides extremely difficult spam
> detection problems (i.e. using pictures to embed spam text, making it
> almost impossible to detect effectively via a scan for known spam text)
> all of which resulting in the need for more bandwidth, more mail servers
> with more memory and storage and more hardware to perform anti-spam
> processes - all of which leads to higher costs for all of us. It also
> ignores the fact that there are still millions of people who don't have
> broadband and for whom every extra byte of data is an issue.

Spam happens regardless whether html email is used.
Perhaps you are suggesting that HTML email increases spam. I disagree.
I think spam frequency has little to do with email format.
Perhaps you are suggesting that it is easier to detect spam in plain
text email. I disagree on this too. There was the I LOVE YOU trojan,
one of the most damagig bad thing that happened in computer viruses.

Few years ago, i get few hundred (or was it thousand?) spam per day to
xahlee.org .

> My experience has also been that the majority of people who are
> insistant on using HTML in the mail have little substance in their
> content. If what you write has real substance, the formatting is almost
> irrelevant.

True. I heartily agree. See for example:
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/plain_text.html

But you can't tell your grandma what to do.

Grammarian pundits cries and pains and tells you how you should use
punctuations, and how you should improve your writing ability to
convey attitude and emotions instead of using smilies, and so on. In
general, these are not realistic or not applicable.

Suppose your girlfriend send you a email with the line “i ♥ u!!” with
the heart in bold and large and color red. Are you gonna bitch how it
is abuse of fontification and lack of knowledge in writing and waste
of bandwitth resource?

> > Arguably, another format, such as rich text that is espoused by Apple
> > computer's email progrm ( ~2002 to ~2006 and no support for html
> > mail), is a better tech than HTML for rich text in email. But for
> > whatever social reasons it didn't catch on. Html is the de facto
> > standard today for rich text in email.
>
> There are lots of things that become defacto standards, but this doesn't
> make them necessarily a good thing. Your arguements appear to be very
> much of the popularist variety - lots of people do it, therefore it must
> be good or the correct way. In reality, most people don't care and don't
> even know its going on.

suggesting the ability for email rmail to support html email is not
based on popularity or fashion. It's more like real world need versus
ideologiest's view.

> > Also, as i mentioned before, tools used by tech geekers usually have 5
> > or more so years lagging in catching up with any tech that are being
> > adapted in the commercial world. For example, HTML email has basically
> > became the standard in Microsoft since maybe 2002?, and html is widely
> > supported or in fact default format for commercial web based service
> > provider since many years ago too.
>
> It is true that Microsoft is very much responsible for the growth in
> HTML based e-mail. This is largely due to the fact that it was at one
> time the default setting. I have found that often, when I've asked someone not
> to send e-mail in HTML format, they are actually surprised to find out
> that they were i.e. many people don't even realise their mail is being
> formatted in HTML. The point is that just because many people use it
> you cannot conclude they are doing so because they want it. In fact, the
> number of HTML e-mails that are anything other than a very poor
> formatting of just text far outweighs those where the author is actively
> formatting their text with features provided by HTML.

efficiency has to be considered on the whole. The time spend to talk
to these people about the merits of plain text, is a use of resource.
Is this resource, for you to teach, and for him to learn, less
valuable than the seconds or bytes HTML email consumes?

arguably, the world could be a much better place, where everyone
understand all techonolgy and details, and always choice the most
efficient format. That's a great vision.

Thomas Sowell calls it The Vision Of The Annointed.
See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sowell

> My emacs mail client gives me the choice of viewing mail in HTML or
> plaiin text. I choose plain text because it is faster and because the
> HTML version doesn't give me any added value. Note also that links in my
> text messages are clickable and just as convenient as they would be in
> HTML, but without all the additional overhead. I can also view image
> attachments etc. So, all that HTML can really give me are possibly
> different fonts and colours - I prefer to manage those myself and not
> have someone else dictate them and as mentioned above, few people
> actually use these formatting features anyway.

does rmail support viewing html?

Xah
http://xahlee.org/

Xah

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 9:17:50 AM8/8/08
to

Thank you! ☺

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Phil Carmody

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 10:56:55 AM8/8/08
to
Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:
> On Aug 7, 10:54 pm, Tim X <t...@nospam.dev.null> wrote:
>> I disagree with your suggestion that HTML is technically superior. You
>> can't just make a sweeping statement like that without actually defining
>> what it is that e-mail is supposed to provide. As someone else pointed
>> out, an F16 is technically superior to a bicycle, but if allyou want to
>> do is go to the corner shop, that technical superiority is not only a
>> waste, but also a handicap.
>
> HTML is simply technically superior. Sure, F15 is better than bicycle
> but ridiculous. However, HTML is better than plain text in email is
> not ridiculous. It is the standard the world uses by large, and people
> want rich text in email. Wikipedia says the support for html email in
> email programs is 97%.

An utterly spurious statistic. Support for Finnish emails in
email programs is probably closer to 100% than 97%, but that
doesn't mean that everyone should be or wants to be using
Finnish.

Phil
--
Dear aunt, let's set so double the killer delete select all.
-- Microsoft voice recognition live demonstration

Ted Zlatanov

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 11:15:44 AM8/8/08
to
On Fri, 8 Aug 2008 05:20:23 -0700 (PDT) Xah <xah...@gmail.com> wrote:

X> Emacs is not a commercial app, so there's not much survival
X> pressure. It simply got dwindling users, more and more esoteric
X> “elite” tech geekers.

So Emacs users are losing weight?

Seriously, have some perspective. Emacs has been around since before
many of us were born. It's always been aimed at people who can read a
manual. That's a very exclusive club if you look at people in general.

Ted

Tim X

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 11:19:16 AM8/8/08
to
Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

> On Aug 7, 10:54 pm, Tim X <t...@nospam.dev.null> wrote:
>> Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:
>> > Tim X wrote:
>> > «In general, HTML in mail messages is a bad thing.»
>>
>> > HTML in email is a very good thing.
>>
>> I disagree
>>

>> There are a lot of things that could be improved concerning e-mail and
>> its basic infrastructure, but adding HTML to the mess is certainly not
>> one of them and I'm a long way from being convinced that if we did want
>> to add additional control over presentation of e-mail messages that HTML
>> is the answer.
>
> I agree HTML is the not best technology for rich text in email.
> However, it is just the world's standard.
>

So, what your really saying is you just want to argue for the sake of
arguing? If you can remember back to my original reply to the OP I
merely said that HTML in e-mail was a bad thing. You also snipped how I
suggested that he could do it if he wanted to. Of course, all you were
interested in is grinding your own axe and looking for any place you can
jump on a soap box!

>> > From the social point of view, HTMl is also far more useful, and
>> > people wants the ability to have colored text, embed images, etc. I
>> > don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
>> > 90% of email traffics today, are in html. Human animals, collectively,
>> > want it.
>>
>> You frequently like to quote these bogus percentages. If you don't hae
>> any real figures, they are completely pointless.
>> You also need to
>> acknowledge that your subjective experiences are not the same as
>> the rest of the world. It is these sorts of unfounded claims and bogus
>> facts that undermines many of your arguements. I suspect it also
>> diminishes what many think of your opinions and is likely counter
>> productive to what you want to achieve.
>
> It's not bogus. If you take the time to research, i think you wouldn't
> call them bogus.

Talk about pot calling kettle black. You wrote "I


don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even

90% of email traffics today, are in html" - You freely admit you have
not got any stats and that it is a guess. Maybe you should start doing
some research yourself! If you do, forget about results from marketing
companies that have their own axe to grind. Go out and find out from
users what they actually think. I suspect you will find that the vast
majority of users don't really care and most aren't even ware that their
mail is bieng formatted in HTML or that it could just be in plain text.

>
> For example, in my last post i linked to Wikipedia
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HTML_e-mail
> which contains this paragraph:
>
> «
> Since its conception, a number of people have vocally opposed all HTML
> e-mail (and even MIME itself), for a variety of reasons. While still
> considered inappropriate in many newsgroup postings and mailing lists,
> its adoption for personal and business mail has only increased over
> time. Some of those who strongly opposed it when it first came out now
> see it as mostly harmless.[2]
>
> According to surveys by online marketing companies, adoption of HTML-
> capable email clients is now nearly universal, with less than 3%
> reporting that they use text-only clients.[3] A smaller number, though
> still the majority, prefer it over plain text.[4]
> »

yes, and the following paragraphs are less than praising of the benefits
of HTML. In fact, the very next paragraphs say

"As HTML mail is more complex than plain text, however, it is also more prone
to compatibility issues and problems with rendering consistently across
platforms and software.

Some popular clients do not render consistently with W3C specifications, and
many HTML e-mails are not compliant, either, which may cause rendering or
delivery problems, especially for users of MSN or Hotmail.^[3]"

and still, the real benefits in the sense of what HTML can give you that
you cannot do with plain text and MIME are minimal and largely just
fluff. I also find it ironic that the company that is largely
responsible for the growth of HTML mail has now got the situation where
customers using their mail systems (MSN/Hotmail) have problems with
poorly formatted HTML e-mails!

>
>> Up until recently, I administered an e-mail system that processed
>> gigabytes of mail per day. While there was a fair amount of HTML based
>> mail, it was less than 50% and nearly 80% of that was just spam. I will
>> readily admit that this is just what I observed in my small corner of
>> the world and this only represents a user base of just over 30,000
>> accounts.
>
> What comapany or type of company? i mean, what context?
>
> for example, if you admin some Open Source oriented community, sure
> there's a lot plain text.
>

No, nothing to do with open source, its a commercial entity with a lot
of education and research centres. Around 60% of the user base are on
Wndows and a bit under 40% on Macs. The remaining couple of percent are
Linux/BSD etc.


> Of the most largest email hoster in the world, gmail, msn, yahoo, are
> probably some 80% market share in terms of email traffic. (again, a
> rough guess. You can do research on the web i think the result is in
> agreement. I use percentage just to be precise, instead of the more
> fuzzy “majority”, “large number”, etc.)

so you use it to sound like you are precise when your making a guess?
Just admit your making a subjective guess and stop trying to make it
sound like you have some authoritative knowledge or research.

> So, i'd say if you examp gmail, msn, yahoo, probably the bulk of their
> email format is html. In fact, the email account prob default to html,
> and or, any email received is converted to html anyway.
>

So if its converted to HTML on receipt anyway, how is it soemthing that
is beneficial to the end user as apart form something that just makes
the web interface easier for the provider?


>> I disagree with your suggestion that HTML is technically superior. You
>> can't just make a sweeping statement like that without actually defining
>> what it is that e-mail is supposed to provide. As someone else pointed
>> out, an F16 is technically superior to a bicycle, but if allyou want to
>> do is go to the corner shop, that technical superiority is not only a
>> waste, but also a handicap.
>
> HTML is simply technically superior. Sure, F15 is better than bicycle
> but ridiculous. However, HTML is better than plain text in email is
> not ridiculous. It is the standard the world uses by large, and people
> want rich text in email. Wikipedia says the support for html email in
> email programs is 97%.

Your still mixing up cause and effect. Wikipedia also says that many of
those mailers don't do a good or consistent job of rendering the mail
and it makes reference to things like fishing attacks, which are made
possible because of HTML mail. How much of the growth in HTML mail is
due to companies adding that facility to try and get some sort of market
edge? What proportion of users really care whether their e-mail is in
plain text or HTML? How many would have switched to HTML if they actually
had to change the default configuration if it had been set to plain
text out of the box? How many users would be happier if they hadn't been
caught by that fishing attack or their e-mail address had not been
confirmed as legitimate to the spammers when they opened the mail or
their download took only 1/3rd as long or their mailbox was able to
handle 75 percent more messages?

>
>> HTML based e-mail has also had the negative tecnical consequence of
>> increasing the number of security issues and exposing users to more
>> vulnerabilities.
>
> Yeah, so does lots tech has security issues.

and thats your argument to support making it worse? Just because there
are security issues in some other area is a pretty poor arguement for
adding additional issues in this one.

> Some sys admin refuses to
> install emacs an production server, and i was pissed. Did you know
> that unix is traditinoally the most insecure system?

Hogwash. You have to learn to be a bit more critical in your
reading (I'm assuming you have read that somewhere). Statements like
that are just emotional FUD filled rubbish. For a start, there is no one
Unix - they are all different and have had different volnrabilities. You
also need to distinguish between security issues due to misconfiguration
and security issues that are a result of the fundamental design or poor
programming. Sweeping statements like that mean absolutely nothing.

Note also, its not bot-nets of UNIX boxes that spammers and a growing
number of serious criminals are using - they are bot-nets of windows
boxes.

>> It has also wasted huge amount of resources due to the
>> huge increase in message sizes, provides extremely difficult spam
>> detection problems (i.e. using pictures to embed spam text, making it
>> almost impossible to detect effectively via a scan for known spam text)
>> all of which resulting in the need for more bandwidth, more mail servers
>> with more memory and storage and more hardware to perform anti-spam
>> processes - all of which leads to higher costs for all of us. It also
>> ignores the fact that there are still millions of people who don't have
>> broadband and for whom every extra byte of data is an issue.
>
> Spam happens regardless whether html email is used.
> Perhaps you are suggesting that HTML email increases spam. I disagree.
> I think spam frequency has little to do with email format.
> Perhaps you are suggesting that it is easier to detect spam in plain
> text email. I disagree on this too. There was the I LOVE YOU trojan,
> one of the most damagig bad thing that happened in computer viruses.

As I said in the previous mail, HTML makes it harder to detect the spam
because spammers can embed their message inside an image. You cannot
detect it unless you use sophisticated image analysis software or OCR,
both of which are too resource hungry to be of any practicle use on a
production mail server. I won't even go into the issues of fishing
attacks that HTML enables or the fact spammers can use embedded objects
within the HTML to detect when you open the mail - verifying that it is
a legitimate e-mail address and even recording the time it was opened.

As to your reference to the "I love you" virus, that isn't what most
people would call spam, but rather a virus. Personally, it didn't bother
me as I'm on one of those traditionally insecure Unix systems that is
not affected by such things and even if someone did send me a virus that
was able to run on my Unix system, it would only have minimal impact due
to the clear seperation between user space and kernel/system space (a
significant reason/cause of many of MS security problems).

>
>> My experience has also been that the majority of people who are
>> insistant on using HTML in the mail have little substance in their
>> content. If what you write has real substance, the formatting is almost
>> irrelevant.
>
> True. I heartily agree. See for example:
> http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/plain_text.html
>
> But you can't tell your grandma what to do.
>

> Grammarian pundits cries and pains and tells you how you should use
> punctuations, and how you should improve your writing ability to
> convey attitude and emotions instead of using smilies, and so on. In
> general, these are not realistic or not applicable.
>

Well, that certainly doesn't describe my grandmother, my mother or
anyone else I've discussed it with. In fact, despite having helped a lot
of people, I've not yet come across a single person who feels they just
simply must have HTML e-mail. Many think its nice until you point out a
few things, such as the spam stuff, the fact many mail readers don't
render it correctly, the fact that some mail systems will block it, they
fact its a lot larger etc etc and they almost always then ask how they
can turn off HTML formatting of the messages they send. In fact, the
only time I've come across clients who have insisted on HTML e-mail, it
was because they wanted to use the mail for marketing purposes and are
still caught up in the old brochure midnset. Most of the time, once I
explain some of the issues involved and suggest that a better approach
would be to provide just a basic e-mail with a link to their sales
information on their website, they are more than happy to go that
route.

> Suppose your girlfriend send you a email with the line “i ♥ u!!” with
> the heart in bold and large and color red. Are you gonna bitch how it
> is abuse of fontification and lack of knowledge in writing and waste
> of bandwitth resource?
>

No I'd just dump her for being a tasteless unimaginative
cliche. Luckily, my current partner has better taste and while not a
person even slightly interested in tech stuff, she is smart enough to
understand the issues and has no problem with plain text.

This is another point I've noticed with your posts. I think you
unde-estimate people. You seem to have an attitude that anyone who has
even a basic technical grasp of things is a tech geek. In reality, many
people have little problems understanding technology. Many are not at all
interested, but thats different from not being able to udnerstand
it. The teens and 20 somethings, technical
understandning of computers, terminology and concepts is very high. It
appears to drop off a bit in the 40 - 60s for those not that engaged
with technology. Surprisingly, it seems to increase again in the above
60s. In fact, I've assisted quite a few retired people who have jumped
in with both feet and are not only having no problems coming to terms
with it all, are actually really enjoying the challenge and are often
amazed at what they are finding out.

>> > Arguably, another format, such as rich text that is espoused by Apple
>> > computer's email progrm ( ~2002 to ~2006 and no support for html
>> > mail), is a better tech than HTML for rich text in email. But for
>> > whatever social reasons it didn't catch on. Html is the de facto
>> > standard today for rich text in email.
>>
>> There are lots of things that become defacto standards, but this doesn't
>> make them necessarily a good thing. Your arguements appear to be very
>> much of the popularist variety - lots of people do it, therefore it must
>> be good or the correct way. In reality, most people don't care and don't
>> even know its going on.
>
> suggesting the ability for email rmail to support html email is not
> based on popularity or fashion. It's more like real world need versus
> ideologiest's view.
>

You don't beleive it is a good solution, but you think it is needed
because there is so much of it already - thats what I would call a
popularist perspective. You would possibly argue it is just a pragmatic
perspective - its there so we should just accept it and go with the
flow.

My perspective could well be defined as being ideological, but unlike
you, I don't see that as a bad thing as long as its not taken to an
extreme. As I actually provided the OP with suggested solutions and only
mentioned that it was a bad idea to use HTML formatted mail, I don't
think my view is that of an ideological extremist.

>> > Also, as i mentioned before, tools used by tech geekers usually have 5
>> > or more so years lagging in catching up with any tech that are being
>> > adapted in the commercial world. For example, HTML email has basically
>> > became the standard in Microsoft since maybe 2002?, and html is widely
>> > supported or in fact default format for commercial web based service
>> > provider since many years ago too.
>>
>> It is true that Microsoft is very much responsible for the growth in
>> HTML based e-mail. This is largely due to the fact that it was at one
>> time the default setting. I have found that often, when I've asked someone not
>> to send e-mail in HTML format, they are actually surprised to find out
>> that they were i.e. many people don't even realise their mail is being
>> formatted in HTML. The point is that just because many people use it
>> you cannot conclude they are doing so because they want it. In fact, the
>> number of HTML e-mails that are anything other than a very poor
>> formatting of just text far outweighs those where the author is actively
>> formatting their text with features provided by HTML.
>
> efficiency has to be considered on the whole. The time spend to talk
> to these people about the merits of plain text, is a use of resource.
> Is this resource, for you to teach, and for him to learn, less
> valuable than the seconds or bytes HTML email consumes?
>

Yes, because the time I spend explaining such things doesn't cost you
and everyone else money. The increased bandwidth, security problems,
spam and added cost of trying to prevent it cost us all because
providers need to cover these expenses somewhere and they do that by
charging us more.

> arguably, the world could be a much better place, where everyone
> understand all techonolgy and details, and always choice the most
> efficient format. That's a great vision.
>

Yet you can't resist jumping into a thread like this one to argue
against any attempt to help inform people of such things. In fact, you
often highjack such threads to push your own agenda with total disregard
for the actual point of the question and I note you didn't even attempt
to address the OPs question and conveniently cut out all the text except
that one line which gave you the opening to get on your soap box.

>> My emacs mail client gives me the choice of viewing mail in HTML or
>> plaiin text. I choose plain text because it is faster and because the
>> HTML version doesn't give me any added value. Note also that links in my
>> text messages are clickable and just as convenient as they would be in
>> HTML, but without all the additional overhead. I can also view image
>> attachments etc. So, all that HTML can really give me are possibly
>> different fonts and colours - I prefer to manage those myself and not
>> have someone else dictate them and as mentioned above, few people
>> actually use these formatting features anyway.
>
> does rmail support viewing html?

I don't use rmail, so I don't know. However, VM, mew and I believe
wonderlust and gnus do.

Xah

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 11:39:28 AM8/8/08
to

well, unix's tools and “man” is also used by a exclusive club. Are you
suggesting emacs should adopt “man” instead of info, and replace elisp
by sed, awk, sh?

Seriously, read the man.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Xah

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 11:42:48 AM8/8/08
to
On Aug 8, 7:56 am, Phil Carmody <thefatphil_demun...@yahoo.co.uk>
wrote:

> Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:
> > On Aug 7, 10:54 pm, Tim X <t...@nospam.dev.null> wrote:
> >> I disagree with your suggestion that HTML is technically superior. You
> >> can't just make a sweeping statement like that without actually defining
> >> what it is that e-mail is supposed to provide. As someone else pointed
> >> out, an F16 is technically superior to a bicycle, but if allyou want to
> >> do is go to the corner shop, that technical superiority is not only a
> >> waste, but also a handicap.
>
> > HTML is simply technically superior. Sure, F15 is better than bicycle
> > but ridiculous. However, HTML is better than plain text in email is
> > not ridiculous. It is the standard the world uses by large, and people
> > want rich text in email. Wikipedia says the support for html email in
> > email programs is 97%.
>
> An utterly spurious statistic. Support for Finnish emails in
> email programs is probably closer to 100% than 97%, but that
> doesn't mean that everyone should be or wants to be using
> Finnish.

Ok. You used analogy to refute my reason. What is your real argument
that the ability to send/receive html formatted mail in emacs is not a
good thing?

Xah
http://xahlee.org/

Cor Gest

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 11:42:33 AM8/8/08
to
Some entity, AKA Ted Zlatanov <t...@lifelogs.com>,

wrote this mindboggling stuff:
(selectively-snipped-or-not-p)

> On Fri, 8 Aug 2008 05:20:23 -0700 (PDT) Xah <xah...@gmail.com> wrote:

Yeah, I really am unaware of any commerce-driven survival of the
fittest pressure withstanding fully user-adaptable application that is
still around and kicking after about a quarter of a century, which
incidentally is about long enough to Read The Fine Manual.
And we all know about those commercial manuals , don't we ...

Cor


--
Mijn Tools zijn zo modern dat ze allemaal eindigen op 'saurus'
(defvar My-Computer '((OS . "GNU/Emacs") (IPL . "GNU/Linux")))
SPAM DELENDA EST http://www.clsnet.nl/mail.php

1st Law of surviving an agressor : Have a gun !

Phil Carmody

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 1:06:31 PM8/8/08
to

You are aparently too dense to see my real argument in
the above, so there's little point in me putting forward
a real argument on a different point. The incentive to
play along with your trolling really isn't that great.

Xah

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 1:14:47 PM8/8/08
to
On Aug 8, 8:19 am, Tim X <t...@nospam.dev.null> wrote:
>
> So, what your really saying is you just want to argue for the sake of
> arguing?

Hum?

> If you can remember back to my original reply to the OP I
> merely said that HTML in e-mail was a bad thing. You also snipped how I
> suggested that he could do it if he wanted to. Of course, all you were
> interested in is grinding your own axe and looking for any place you can
> jump on a soap box!

Hum? I don't really see how we got into this.

I was saying, that html email is a good thing.


> Talk about pot calling kettle black. You wrote "I
> don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
> 90% of email traffics today, are in html" - You freely admit you have
> not got any stats and that it is a guess. Maybe you should start doing
> some research yourself!

In my post where i gave percentages about html mail use, i also gave a
link to Wikipedia. You said my percentage is bogus. So retort that
they are not if one do research, and quoted the Wikipedia's stat about
html mail pervasiveness.

> If you do, forget about results from marketing
> companies that have their own axe to grind.

That's a bad attitude. How can you laugh at market research companies?
Major corps such as google, Microsoft, Apple etc, pays tens of
thousands dollars for their reports.

Are you getting into the attitude of all those conspiracy theories
that hackers love? All lawers are bad, all companies are bad, society
should be anarchy, government covers up UFOs, 9-11 is a act of US
government, etc?

> Go out and find out from
> users what they actually think. I suspect you will find that the vast
> majority of users don't really care and most aren't even ware that their
> mail is bieng formatted in HTML or that it could just be in plain text.

I forgot what exactly we are arguing about. What are we arguing about?

I suggest this: Emacs's rmail should have the ability to send and
receive html mail.

I've posted about 6 or so messages giving my reasons. If you say that
this should be a low priority for lack of manpower, then i agree. But
i think you and others emphatically say that html mail is bad, which i
don't agree.


> yes, and the following paragraphs are less than praising of the benefits
> of HTML. In fact, the very next paragraphs say
>
> "As HTML mail is more complex than plain text, however, it is also more prone
> to compatibility issues and problems with rendering consistently across
> platforms and software.
>
> Some popular clients do not render consistently with W3C specifications, and
> many HTML e-mails are not compliant, either, which may cause rendering or
> delivery problems, especially for users of MSN or Hotmail.^[3]"

sure, html mail is not perfect technology. I agree. On the whole, i
gave reasons that this is not a sufficient reason to say that emacs
should not have the ability to send/receive html mail.

For example, unix's X windows is truly the worst technology. But do
you suggest we ditch it?

See for example:
The X-Windows Disaster
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/_/The_X-Windows_Disaster.html


> and still, the real benefits in the sense of what HTML can give you that
> you cannot do with plain text and MIME are minimal and largely just
> fluff. I also find it ironic that the company that is largely
> responsible for the growth of HTML mail has now got the situation where
> customers using their mail systems (MSN/Hotmail) have problems with
> poorly formatted HTML e-mails!

Well, we can consider html as fluff from the tech geeker perspective.
Considered by the whole human animal society, it's not “largely just
fluff”.

I gave several paragraphs of examples illustrating how the education
industry, commerce industry, etc all need rich text in email. Please
see my other post here:

http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/7f4960537fc38bbf

> >> Up until recently, I administered an e-mail system that processed
> >> gigabytes of mail per day. While there was a fair amount of HTML based
> >> mail, it was less than 50% and nearly 80% of that was just spam. I will
> >> readily admit that this is just what I observed in my small corner of
> >> the world and this only represents a user base of just over 30,000
> >> accounts.
>
> > What comapany or type of company? i mean, what context?
>
> > for example, if you admin some Open Source oriented community, sure
> > there's a lot plain text.
>
> No, nothing to do with open source, its a commercial entity with a lot
> of education and research centres. Around 60% of the user base are on
> Wndows and a bit under 40% on Macs. The remaining couple of percent are
> Linux/BSD etc.

Ok. But anyway, you can still set your email app to receive and send
only plain text. If you are admin, you can set it at the server level.
The ability to read and send html mail doesn't force emacs users into
one way.


> > Of the most largest email hoster in the world, gmail, msn, yahoo, are
> > probably some 80% market share in terms of email traffic. (again, a
> > rough guess. You can do research on the web i think the result is in
> > agreement. I use percentage just to be precise, instead of the more
> > fuzzy “majority”, “large number”, etc.)
>
> so you use it to sound like you are precise when your making a guess?
> Just admit your making a subjective guess and stop trying to make it
> sound like you have some authoritative knowledge or research.

well, if you interprete my use of percentage as trying to sound
authoritative, that's fine. I gave you reasons as to why i use it.

Also, as to authoritiveness, i do think i know about social issues
much more than... nevermind.

Perhaps we can more stick to topic? I suggest, that this thread to
argue about:
Whether emacs's rmail should have the ability to send and receive html
mail.

If we can all post with this in mind, that'll help.

Of course you many disagree that this or the way i phrased it should
be the topic. Suggest a good explicit topic then. We can be more
focused that way.

For example, if you suggest this: “HTML mail is comparatively not a
good technology”. Then no argument from me. Let's be more specific on
what exactly we are arguing about.

> > So, i'd say if you examp gmail, msn, yahoo, probably the bulk of their
> > email format is html. In fact, the email account prob default to html,
> > and or, any email received is converted to html anyway.
>
> So if its converted to HTML on receipt anyway, how is it soemthing that
> is beneficial to the end user as apart form something that just makes
> the web interface easier for the provider?

I don't know. It may be converted to html mail before transmission
too. But let's look at it from another perspective. These mail service
provides, gmail, msn, yahoo, are all using html. They perhaps account
for 90% of emails sent today. Imagine, people at google says “no,
gmail should not support html because HTML is a wart. It's spam,
bloat, inefficient, used by stupid people.”

> >> I disagree with your suggestion that HTML is technically superior. You
> >> can't just make a sweeping statement like that without actually defining
> >> what it is that e-mail is supposed to provide. As someone else pointed
> >> out, an F16 is technically superior to a bicycle, but if allyou want to
> >> do is go to the corner shop, that technical superiority is not only a
> >> waste, but also a handicap.
>
> > HTML is simply technically superior. Sure, F15 is better than bicycle
> > but ridiculous. However, HTML is better than plain text in email is
> > not ridiculous. It is the standard the world uses by large, and people
> > want rich text in email. Wikipedia says the support for html email in
> > email programs is 97%.
>
> Your still mixing up cause and effect. Wikipedia also says that many of
> those mailers don't do a good or consistent job of rendering the mail
> and it makes reference to things like fishing attacks, which are made
> possible because of HTML mail. How much of the growth in HTML mail is
> due to companies adding that facility to try and get some sort of market
> edge? What proportion of users really care whether their e-mail is in
> plain text or HTML? How many would have switched to HTML if they actually
> had to change the default configuration if it had been set to plain
> text out of the box? How many users would be happier if they hadn't been
> caught by that fishing attack or their e-mail address had not been
> confirmed as legitimate to the spammers when they opened the mail or
> their download took only 1/3rd as long or their mailbox was able to
> handle 75 percent more messages?

You seems to have a geeker attitude towards corporations. Seems to
suggest whatever corporations do, is to make extra money, and
disregard users.

I think that's at heart many tech geeker's unrealistic view came from.
Companies exist to make money. They make money if people choose their
product. Ultimately, it's the masses of people, everyone all
considered together, that dictate trends and happenings in society.

If people prefer plain text, gmail would not have supported html. If
supporting html as default is some kinda corporate plot to add ads or
whatever, then it may backfire and people will stop using that
product.

If corporations made html mail the default format for email, i simply
think that they decided, after extensive research on all aspects, that
it is what people want, and ultimately benefit the them.

> >> HTML based e-mail has also had the negative tecnical consequence of
> >> increasing the number of security issues and exposing users to more
> >> vulnerabilities.
>
> > Yeah, so does lots tech has security issues.
>
> and thats your argument to support making it worse? Just because there
> are security issues in some other area is a pretty poor arguement for
> adding additional issues in this one.

You are right of course. And of course, i'm not saying that we should
add whatever technology with lots security holes to emacs. I'm just
saying, of all thing considered, emacs's rmail or gnus, should support
the sending and receiving of html mail.


> > Some sys admin refuses to
> > install emacs an production server, and i was pissed. Did you know
> > that unix is traditinoally the most insecure system?
>
> Hogwash. You have to learn to be a bit more critical in your
> reading (I'm assuming you have read that somewhere). Statements like
> that are just emotional FUD filled rubbish.

Well, it actually happened to me. I don't know what planet you came
from. But when i was in the unix industry, managing servers with roots
to tens of servers... some sys admin refused to install emacs on the
server that's not under my control. It is brought up in a conference
with managers. Basically, i was telling them, if you don't install
emacs, i won't do it. You do whatever installations etc you have to
do.

I mean, in my view, most sys admins are morons. (oops, execuse my
french)
Thinking back, i shouldn't have been rather confruntational on that
issue. I could be more friendlier.

Anyway, this incident and similar, made me learn the basic of vi. See
for example:
http://xahlee.org/emacs/emergency_vi.html

> For a start, there is no one
> Unix - they are all different and have had different volnrabilities. You
> also need to distinguish between security issues due to misconfiguration
> and security issues that are a result of the fundamental design or poor
> programming. Sweeping statements like that mean absolutely nothing.

Well, i always thought, judging from your posts, that you are some
student. Over comp.lang.lisp last months or so you indicated that you
are 40 or 50 something? Ok, so i'm not sure you actually knew less of
unix then me. But you can check out my unix tutorial and commentary
here and get some inkling on what i know.

The Unix Pestilence
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/freebooks.html

> Note also, its not bot-nets of UNIX boxes that spammers and a growing
> number of serious criminals are using - they are bot-nets of windows
> boxes.

Well, perhaps let's not start on the issue of Microsoft hatred ok?

Seriously, i consider Microsoft's OS far secure than unixes, when
considered on the whole of the OSes's history. See for example, i've
written rather detailed reasons on why i think it:

On Microsoft Hatred
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/mshatred155.html

The Microsoft Hatred FAQ
http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/mshatredfaq.html

Before MS hatred, there was IBM hatred around 1990. I suppose before
that there was AT&T unix hatred. And now there's increasing bad
mouthing on google. I think tech geekers simply hate anything big or
successful.

> >> It has also wasted huge amount of resources due to the
> >> huge increase in message sizes, provides extremely difficult spam
> >> detection problems (i.e. using pictures to embed spam text, making it
> >> almost impossible to detect effectively via a scan for known spam text)
> >> all of which resulting in the need for more bandwidth, more mail servers
> >> with more memory and storage and more hardware to perform anti-spam
> >> processes - all of which leads to higher costs for all of us. It also
> >> ignores the fact that there are still millions of people who don't have
> >> broadband and for whom every extra byte of data is an issue.
>
> > Spam happens regardless whether html email is used.
> > Perhaps you are suggesting that HTML email increases spam. I disagree.
> > I think spam frequency has little to do with email format.
> > Perhaps you are suggesting that it is easier to detect spam in plain
> > text email. I disagree on this too. There was the I LOVE YOU trojan,
> > one of the most damagig bad thing that happened in computer viruses.
>
> As I said in the previous mail, HTML makes it harder to detect the spam
> because spammers can embed their message inside an image. You cannot
> detect it unless you use sophisticated image analysis software or OCR,
> both of which are too resource hungry to be of any practicle use on a
> production mail server. I won't even go into the issues of fishing
> attacks that HTML enables or the fact spammers can use embedded objects
> within the HTML to detect when you open the mail - verifying that it is
> a legitimate e-mail address and even recording the time it was opened.

Well, as i explained with many reasons, that i think it is
questionable that HTML is harder to detect as spam. For example, you
cite images. Well, in my mail box, images are simply turned off. It's
plain text i have to actually eyeball.

But anyway, let's get back on focus. Regardless whether it is easier
or harder to detect spam in html or plain text, it doesn't matter.
HTML mail is now the universal standard. It is good if emacs's email
reading facilities supports it.

> As to your reference to the "I love you" virus, that isn't what most
> people would call spam, but rather a virus.

well, what terms you like to call it doesn't matter. The point was
that bad things, happens in plain text too as frequently in html.

> Personally, it didn't bother
> me as I'm on one of those traditionally insecure Unix systems that is
> not affected by such things and even if someone did send me a virus that
> was able to run on my Unix system, it would only have minimal impact due
> to the clear seperation between user space and kernel/system space (a
> significant reason/cause of many of MS security problems).

Well, as i argued in the The Microsoft Hatred FAQ essay, MS OS got
more virus because it is popular, a decision made by all the people in
the world. In that essay, i expressed, that if overnight all MS OSes
and Servers switched to Unixes, the world would crumble down. If you
like to argue about the security of Microsoft OS vs Unixes, start a
new thread please.

So you are ditching the market of sweet sixteens? You know, they hog
on myspace with cellphones. Too bad for you.

> This is another point I've noticed with your posts. I think you
> unde-estimate people. You seem to have an attitude that anyone who has
> even a basic technical grasp of things is a tech geek.

Well, no. The tech geekers are thos who hog comp.lang newsgroups and
slashdots, for example. They are a class of people with no knowledge
in social sciences what so ever. They are the ones who said, i wrote
before, here:

(as a example of
a characteristic thought pattern of these people... one can image
they
are the type of guys who said computers should never adopt the mouse
(~1990), GUI (~1990), the web should not commercialize (~1995), web
should not have cookies (~1997), css or javascript (~1998), source
code should never have syntax coloring (mid 1990s), blogging is for
teens (early 2000s), Wikipedia is for morons (~2004). In their quite
strong opinion, these type of features or changes are a waste of
computing cycle, fad, or for kids or dumbing down society, when these
things were in their early days and their future is not certain.)

It's not about popularity. Yes pragmatic. And it's not about “go with
the flow”. Consider technology and its history, adopting html mail in
a email app is very reasonable.

Let me make it clear. I consider, those who don't see this, or would
argue about it, as most did here, are completely ignorant of anything
about social or historical aspect of technology. COMPLETELY CLUELESS.
I mean, this is rude to say, and i'm sorry. I don't mean to be
disrespectful. I try to be on topic, and polite.


> My perspective could well be defined as being ideological, but unlike
> you, I don't see that as a bad thing as long as its not taken to an
> extreme. As I actually provided the OP with suggested solutions and only
> mentioned that it was a bad idea to use HTML formatted mail, I don't
> think my view is that of an ideological extremist.

The reason i responded to the beginning of this thread is the typical
plain-text-email fetish, added uncessarily when answering the original
poster's question about how to send html mail in gnus. This Luddite
attitude is very harmful and is popular among tech geeking communities
(e.g. comp.lang newsgroups, slashdot). As i gave examples above, these
attitudes typically are against any technology that are not useful to
hardcore elite programers, from gui to mouse to commercializion of web
to css to javascript to youtube.

So ok, maybe we have a heated argument. You say X, i say Y. How can we
resolve this argument? So, first i suggest we give explicit topic so
we can focus on it. I suggested one in this post few paragraphs above.
We can discuss that. Then, we can have a few, explicit sub topics.
Each we can gave reasons to agree or disagree. Research for facts,
find experts, etc.

spending time to explain to others about tech details of html vs plain
text is costy. It's a human labor, one of the most costy thing.

Your other points... SIGH. Tim, i'm getting tired. I tried to type
very fast and reply very fast here. But i'm still getting tired. I
think i already spent 1 hour just typing continuously.

You are so silly. I gave you the award for being the silliest!

> > arguably, the world could be a much better place, where everyone
> > understand all techonolgy and details, and always choice the most
> > efficient format. That's a great vision.
>
> Yet you can't resist jumping into a thread like this one to argue
> against any attempt to help inform people of such things. In fact, you
> often highjack such threads to push your own agenda with total disregard
> for the actual point of the question and I note you didn't even attempt
> to address the OPs question and conveniently cut out all the text except
> that one line which gave you the opening to get on your soap box.
>
> >> My emacs mail client gives me the choice of viewing mail in HTML or
> >> plaiin text. I choose plain text because it is faster and because the
> >> HTML version doesn't give me any added value. Note also that links in my
> >> text messages are clickable and just as convenient as they would be in
> >> HTML, but without all the additional overhead. I can also view image
> >> attachments etc. So, all that HTML can really give me are possibly
> >> different fonts and colours - I prefer to manage those myself and not
> >> have someone else dictate them and as mentioned above, few people
> >> actually use these formatting features anyway.
>
> > does rmail support viewing html?
>
> I don't use rmail, so I don't know. However, VM, mew and I believe
> wonderlust and gnus do.

Well, i used vm with xemacs during 1998-2000. I don't recall it
support html but i might be wrong.

We can stop this conversation, or we can start with a focus on a
explicitly phrased topic. Then we can clarify which is opinion, which
is preference, which are facts, and create more explicit sub topics.
Then perhaps eventually we might agree, or agree to know, which points
exactly we don't agree.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Xah

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 1:22:01 PM8/8/08
to
On Aug 8, 10:06 am, Phil Carmody <thefatphil_demun...@yahoo.co.uk>

Let me be direct and honest. I don't see your point, and i was very
matter of fact, and asked what is your explicit reason for your
argument.

Now you are calling me troll. It's ok. I'm used to it. No hard
feelings ok?

O, about your F15 vs bicycle analogy. I also gave reasons on why it
does not apply. Analogy can be helpful for your opponent to see your
argument, but analogy itself does not actually supply argument. You
knew that right?

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Cor Gest

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 2:24:02 PM8/8/08
to
Some entity, AKA Xah <xah...@gmail.com>,

wrote this mindboggling stuff:
(selectively-snipped-or-not-p)

> Now you are calling me troll.

That would only be the case if you would know what you where talking
about, if not, then you must be a true supporter of phishing & spamming
by proselitizing the use of the very tool that the crimminals use to
exploit the ignorance of the technically inept users.

Cor

--
Mijn Tools zijn zo modern dat ze allemaal eindigen op 'saurus'
(defvar My-Computer '((OS . "GNU/Emacs") (IPL . "GNU/Linux")))
SPAM DELENDA EST http://www.clsnet.nl/mail.php

Ted Zlatanov

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 3:00:37 PM8/8/08
to
On Fri, 8 Aug 2008 08:39:28 -0700 (PDT) Xah <xah...@gmail.com> wrote:

X> On Aug 8, 8:15 am, Ted Zlatanov <t...@lifelogs.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, 8 Aug 2008 05:20:23 -0700 (PDT) Xah <xah...@gmail.com> wrote:
>>
X> Emacs is not a commercial app, so there's not much survival
X> pressure. It simply got dwindling users, more and more esoteric
X> “elite” tech geekers.
>>

>> Seriously, have some perspective. Emacs has been around since before
>> many of us were born. It's always been aimed at people who can read a
>> manual. That's a very exclusive club if you look at people in general.

X> well, unix's tools and “man” is also used by a exclusive club. Are you
X> suggesting emacs should adopt “man” instead of info, and replace elisp
X> by sed, awk, sh?

No. You've merged two logical fallacies into one flawed argument.

X> Seriously, read the man.

You want quotes around "seriously" if you're starting a novel. It's a
decent opening. Otherwise, your sentence is nonsense.

Ted

Phil Carmody

unread,
Aug 8, 2008, 6:15:17 PM8/8/08
to

You don't just not see my point, you are unable to understand
what point I was addressing. Read, reread, and reread again.
Eventually you may work out that the point I am addressing is
your flawed argumentation style. (It says logical fallacy all
over it, but I can't recall precisely what its common name would
be at this time of night.)

> Now you are calling me troll. It's ok. I'm used to it. No hard
> feelings ok?

Pity's not a hard feeling, so no hard feelings.

> O, about your F15 vs bicycle analogy.

I give up. You're painfully dense.

qingant

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 1:54:27 AM8/9/08
to Xah
I do think we need the ability to get email formated well.Plain
text is able to express ourselves,but not good enough.As a
college student in china,I fill very angry when recieved email
from the office with a M$ word file attached----I download it
and opened it on my old computer with OOo,waiting for serviral
minutes just to see some emphrased headers and indented iterms
!!!
so,why not give email itself the power to do little things to
get the context a little better stuctured? ON the other hand,
things get changed when html was abused, it's neccessary to
be aware of what we really want.It is more important in chinese.
If u just looking at the souce code of a chinese webpage,u will
get amused.
I do love emacs very much.Gnus is not perfect,but is better than
any client i have used.But i fail to make it work with gmail.

Phil Carmody

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 4:13:31 AM8/9/08
to
qingant <qin...@gmail.com> writes:
> I do think we need the ability to get email formated well.Plain
> text is able to express ourselves,but not good enough.As a
> college student in china,I fill very angry when recieved email
> from the office with a M$ word file attached----I download it
> and opened it on my old computer with OOo,waiting for serviral
> minutes just to see some emphrased headers and indented iterms
> !!!
> so,why not give email itself the power to do little things to
> get the context a little better stuctured? ON the other hand,
> things get changed when html was abused, it's neccessary to
> be aware of what we really want.It is more important in chinese.
> If u just looking at the souce code of a chinese webpage,u will
> get amused.
> I do love emacs very much.Gnus is not perfect,but is better than
> any client i have used.But i fail to make it work with gmail.

If you can't be bothered to insert suitable mark-up,
namely inserting a blank line between paragraphs,
in plain text, what would lead us to believe that
you'd use a more complicated mark-up (HTML) sensibly?

What makes you think that the rest of the world wants
to see people who can't use, or deliberately abuse,
the power that they already have granted even more
power?

*Most* people who clamour for HTML, in /my/ experience
of course, are those who demonstrate an inabilty to
use plain text.

Tim X

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 5:55:32 AM8/9/08
to
Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

> On Aug 8, 8:19 am, Tim X <t...@nospam.dev.null> wrote:
>
>> If you can remember back to my original reply to the OP I
>> merely said that HTML in e-mail was a bad thing. You also snipped how I
>> suggested that he could do it if he wanted to. Of course, all you were
>> interested in is grinding your own axe and looking for any place you can
>> jump on a soap box!
>
> Hum? I don't really see how we got into this.

You can't. Let me explain. Someone asked how to send HTML in mail. I
responded with some suggestions of what he could do to achieve his
stated goal, which was to be able to upload to his blogger account via
e-mail and he wanted it formatted in HTML. I also said that HTML in
e-mail was not a good idea. I also informed him of a emacs client that
would allow him to interact with blogger directly from within emacs
without th eneed to use e-mail at all.

You then snipped all of the message except my sentence that HTML was not
a good idea and proceeded to go on one of your rants about tech geekers
and the need for emacs to support HTML mail - effectively highjacking
the thread to push your own agenda and get up on your soap box.

thats how we got here.

>
> I was saying, that html email is a good thing.
>

which was totally irrelevant to the OPs original question.

>
>> Talk about pot calling kettle black. You wrote "I
>> don't have stats on this, but it is my guess that 80%, or perhaps even
>> 90% of email traffics today, are in html" - You freely admit you have
>> not got any stats and that it is a guess. Maybe you should start doing
>> some research yourself!
>
> In my post where i gave percentages about html mail use, i also gave a
> link to Wikipedia. You said my percentage is bogus. So retort that
> they are not if one do research, and quoted the Wikipedia's stat about
> html mail pervasiveness.

You said you had no stats and it was a guess - that makes it an
unsubxtantiated claim and I'd call that bogus.


>> If you do, forget about results from marketing
>> companies that have their own axe to grind.
>
> That's a bad attitude. How can you laugh at market research companies?
> Major corps such as google, Microsoft, Apple etc, pays tens of
> thousands dollars for their reports.
>

I didn't laugh at anything. All I said was that the results from market
research companies have their own axe to grind. It is obvious you have
very little commercial experience or much knowledge regarding how market
research works. I was obviously too subtle. What I'm saying is that you
need independent research showing what users think about HTML formatted
e-mail and to what extent they feel it is necessary or to what extent
they are aware of the technical issues and whether their attitudes would
change if they did have some understanding of the issues.

> Are you getting into the attitude of all those conspiracy theories
> that hackers love? All lawers are bad, all companies are bad, society
> should be anarchy, government covers up UFOs, 9-11 is a act of US
> government, etc?
>

Its sounds to me that your more the conspiracy theorist than me. As soon
as someone has an opinion that is different to yours, you immediately
assume they are technical geeks with no understanding of society or
social issues. I find this amusing from someone who has obviously poor
social skills based on many of your responses in this thread,

>> Go out and find out from
>> users what they actually think. I suspect you will find that the vast
>> majority of users don't really care and most aren't even ware that their
>> mail is bieng formatted in HTML or that it could just be in plain text.
>
> I forgot what exactly we are arguing about. What are we arguing about?

Convenient since you started it.

> I suggest this: Emacs's rmail should have the ability to send and
> receive html mail.
>
> I've posted about 6 or so messages giving my reasons. If you say that
> this should be a low priority for lack of manpower, then i agree. But
> i think you and others emphatically say that html mail is bad, which i
> don't agree.
>

Your arguement seems to be that while you agree HTML is not the best
solution to providing some sort of formatting in e-mail and despite the
issues of security, inconsistent rendering and support, etc, because
supposedly 97% of mail clients support it that emacs mail clients should
also support formatting of messages as HTML.

My arguement is that I don't agree that HTML mail formating is a good
idea, I don't agree emacs should do it because thats what the majority
of other clients do and I question your assertion that the majority of
people want it. Rather, I suggest that many of the users who are
using it are unaware they are because clients like outlook do it by
default and that if the default had been plain text and users had to
actively select HTML that there would be far fewer users. I further
suggest that if users were more aware of the technical and security
issues, even less would want to use it.

The main issue I have with your arguement is that you have drawn the
logical conclusion that because there arre many clients that support
HTML it is because thats what people wanted. However, you have provided
no evidence that links your premise with your conclusion. It is a bit
like arguing that banks have added more charges to accounts because
thats what people wanted. You discount my suggestion that support for
HTML mail could simply be a result of software companies trying to find
an edge in marketing. Maybe people do love it now its there, but you
have provided absolutely nothing to support this. Consider all the
research done on Microsoft word that has shown the majority of people
only use a very small percent of the features that it offers - would you
also argue those features are there because people wanted them?

In my original reply to you I also suggested that HTML formatted mail
may not have much of a future given the move towards accessing e-mail
via phones and PDAs and the growth in things like markdown, which has
the advantage of being much simpler and quite readable in its
un-rendered form.

>
>> yes, and the following paragraphs are less than praising of the benefits
>> of HTML. In fact, the very next paragraphs say
>>
>> "As HTML mail is more complex than plain text, however, it is also more prone
>> to compatibility issues and problems with rendering consistently across
>> platforms and software.
>>
>> Some popular clients do not render consistently with W3C specifications, and
>> many HTML e-mails are not compliant, either, which may cause rendering or
>> delivery problems, especially for users of MSN or Hotmail.^[3]"
>
> sure, html mail is not perfect technology. I agree. On the whole, i
> gave reasons that this is not a sufficient reason to say that emacs
> should not have the ability to send/receive html mail.
>

Yes and I argue that just because the others do is not sufficient reason
to add it either. You appear to have the belief that if emacs is to
survive, it has to be just like everything else out there. Maybe the
reason emacs has survived so much longer than most other editors is
precisely because it is different and not like everything else. I think
its pretty well recognised that in an environment with a lot of
competition, its differentiation that helps to ensure survival.


> For example, unix's X windows is truly the worst technology. But do
> you suggest we ditch it?
>

I don't agree its the worst technology at all. I've had to manage labs
of computers running both MS Windows and X windows and the X windows is
much more reliable and easier to maintain than MS Windows. However, you
are yet again mixing up issues. X windows does have its limitations when
used as the GUI interface on a stand-alone PC, but that isn't what it
was designed for. Likewise, MS Windows has a number of shortfalls in a
large networked situation that X windows doesn't have. You cannot just
look at things in limited absolute terms. You need to consider what the
design goals of the different systems are. I find this to be a common
weakness in many of your arguements - you judge the merits or lack of
from a very limited perspective. Often baed only on your own ersonal
experience and totally ignore the history and how things developed. You
frequently overlook the fact that many of your conclusions are based on
the benefits of hindsight and the complexities associated with changing
things to match with current tastes/knwoledge/trends, many of which are
likely to be considered mistakes by the next generation of critics with
new hindsight.

I would never argue that X Windows was without faults and in hindsight,
some of the design decisions may be far from good choices, but at the
time, given the knowledge and experience available with respect to human
computer interfaces, the state of the technology at the time and the
types of softtware available etc, I don't think it is any worse than a
lot of other GUIs designs. Ironically, I was using X windows and had a
graphics based interface when all MS had to offer was DOS and was just
beginning to develop Windows for Workgroups, which was pretty much one
of the worst user interfaces I've ever had to suffer.

> See for example:
> The X-Windows Disaster
> http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/_/The_X-Windows_Disaster.html
>

While that page contains some legitimate criticisms, it exagerates many
of the problems, is simply incorrect in some areas and is mostly
outdated and unfortunately is filled with far too much emotional
bias. It certainly doesn't represent the sort of experience people are
more likely to encounter with modern X window implementations and they
way they are handled on modern distros. For example, I recently setup a
ubuntu system for a friend. There was absolutely no requirement to do
any configuration with respect to text. In fact, the only configuration
that was done was to set the gnome theme.

Note also with respect to programming. Back in the early 90s I had to do
both X and DOS graphics programming and guess what, both were of about
the same level of complexity. In fact, I found it more difficult getting
the DOS program, written in Borland C more difficult to get working in a
consistent way than the X windows version. Ironically, I can still run
my X program, but forget about the DOS version!

Thinngs have come a long way in all environments since then. Those with
huge capital investment have progressed further, but that shouldn't be a
surprise. However, X windows, especially the x.org fork, has also
evolved considerably since the late 80s and early 90s.

>
>> and still, the real benefits in the sense of what HTML can give you that
>> you cannot do with plain text and MIME are minimal and largely just
>> fluff. I also find it ironic that the company that is largely
>> responsible for the growth of HTML mail has now got the situation where
>> customers using their mail systems (MSN/Hotmail) have problems with
>> poorly formatted HTML e-mails!
>
> Well, we can consider html as fluff from the tech geeker perspective.
> Considered by the whole human animal society, it's not “largely just
> fluff”.
>
> I gave several paragraphs of examples illustrating how the education
> industry, commerce industry, etc all need rich text in email. Please
> see my other post here:
>

You gave several paragraphs of your opinion on why it is required with
no real evidence. Thats fine, but it makes your opinion no more
legitimate than any other. I disagree with your opinion, its that
simple. I'm not claiming that mine is necessarily correct, only that it
is my opinion based on my experiences. Obviously, I believe in it more
than in yours.


> http://groups.google.com/group/gnu.emacs.help/msg/7f4960537fc38bbf
>
>> >> Up until recently, I administered an e-mail system that processed
>> >> gigabytes of mail per day. While there was a fair amount of HTML based
>> >> mail, it was less than 50% and nearly 80% of that was just spam. I will
>> >> readily admit that this is just what I observed in my small corner of
>> >> the world and this only represents a user base of just over 30,000
>> >> accounts.
>>
>> > What comapany or type of company? i mean, what context?
>>
>> > for example, if you admin some Open Source oriented community, sure
>> > there's a lot plain text.
>>
>> No, nothing to do with open source, its a commercial entity with a lot
>> of education and research centres. Around 60% of the user base are on
>> Wndows and a bit under 40% on Macs. The remaining couple of percent are
>> Linux/BSD etc.
>
> Ok. But anyway, you can still set your email app to receive and send
> only plain text. If you are admin, you can set it at the server level.
> The ability to read and send html mail doesn't force emacs users into
> one way.
>

Irrelevant point. Nobody ever mentioned forcing anyone to do anything or
even that adding the ability to send HTML e-mail would force everyone to
do it. This is just a distraction from the original issue.


>
>> > Of the most largest email hoster in the world, gmail, msn, yahoo, are
>> > probably some 80% market share in terms of email traffic. (again, a
>> > rough guess. You can do research on the web i think the result is in
>> > agreement. I use percentage just to be precise, instead of the more
>> > fuzzy “majority”, “large number”, etc.)
>>
>> so you use it to sound like you are precise when your making a guess?
>> Just admit your making a subjective guess and stop trying to make it
>> sound like you have some authoritative knowledge or research.
>
> well, if you interprete my use of percentage as trying to sound
> authoritative, that's fine. I gave you reasons as to why i use it.
>
> Also, as to authoritiveness, i do think i know about social issues
> much more than... nevermind.
>

Its good you stopped there. I have no idea to what extent you know
anything about social issues and likewise you no nothing about mine. You
make a totally unsubstantiated claim to some authoritative knowledge of
social issues, but what you base this claim on is unclear. You are
likely to claim you have read widely on the issue, but your not the only
person on the planet who has done so. Just for the record, my first
degree, back in the early 80s had a double major in Sociology and
Psychology and a minor in politics. I wold not claim Im an authority on
social issues by any stretch of the imagination, but I would say that
I'm informed with respect to many of the issues.


> Perhaps we can more stick to topic? I suggest, that this thread to
> argue about:
> Whether emacs's rmail should have the ability to send and receive html
> mail.
>

I suggest that if you want to debate such a topic, you start your own
thread rather than highjacking someone elses.

> If we can all post with this in mind, that'll help.
>
> Of course you many disagree that this or the way i phrased it should
> be the topic. Suggest a good explicit topic then. We can be more
> focused that way.
>

Its your arguement. Call it what you want as long as you do it in a
thread you create for that purpose. Personally, I would not be
interested in such a debate. I only got into this one because you
responded to my post.

> For example, if you suggest this: “HTML mail is comparatively not a
> good technology”. Then no argument from me. Let's be more specific on
> what exactly we are arguing about.
>

Well, I would not have labelled it an argument. I don't agree with your
claim that HTML in e-mail is a good thing. If you can convince the
necessary developers to include it then you will have got what you
want. It won't change my opinion its a bad idea with little real
benefit, but as long as I'm not forced to send my e-mail as HTML, I
don't really care. If asked, I will still maintain it is a bad idea, but
thats not an issue. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but until
someone is able to present a convincing arguement, I doubt my opinion
will change.


>> > So, i'd say if you examp gmail, msn, yahoo, probably the bulk of their
>> > email format is html. In fact, the email account prob default to html,
>> > and or, any email received is converted to html anyway.
>>
>> So if its converted to HTML on receipt anyway, how is it soemthing that
>> is beneficial to the end user as apart form something that just makes
>> the web interface easier for the provider?
>
> I don't know. It may be converted to html mail before transmission
> too. But let's look at it from another perspective. These mail service
> provides, gmail, msn, yahoo, are all using html. They perhaps account
> for 90% of emails sent today. Imagine, people at google says “no,
> gmail should not support html because HTML is a wart. It's spam,
> bloat, inefficient, used by stupid people.”
>

Yet gmail is often cited as having one of the best web interfaces to any
web based mail program and as someone who uses gmail and has used other
services, I have to agree. Most people would actually think given the
quality product they have produced, they may actually know a little
about what they are talking about. At any rate, I certainly feel their
credentials are rather more substantial than yours. If they were to
start argueing in support of HTML formatted mail, there would be a
higher likelihood of them changing my opinion, but they are also more
likely to present a reasoned arguement with supporting evidence (which
is partially why they have higher credentials IMO).

I do have some concerns regarding corporations, but it has nothing to do
with 'geeker attitude'. In fact, most of my concerns are the result of
my studies in sociology and politics regarding issues of corporate
capitalism and ethics compared to traditional capitalism where the
personal ethics of the owner tended to influence the activities of the
business. In large corporate capitalism, share prices and dividends too
often outweigh ethical and moral considerations. to some extent, I
believe this is due to the greater ease the corporate structure provides
to dodge moral and ethical responsabilities and justify decisions as
being what the shareholders demanded/wanted.

Corporations don't ignore their customers, but at the same time, no
corporation will make a decision to do something customers want unless
it will generate additional income. Conversely, corporations regularly
do things that customers don't want if they beleive doing so will
increase their profits, which in some situations can mean a reduction in
their customer base. The situation is even more unbalanced if the
corporation has a majority share of the market or if they know that
either there is no viable alternative or that switching to an
alternative is prohibitive from a cost perspective.

To suggest that any corporation will adopt any change because their
users want it is naive in the extreme. for example, the decision of many
airlines to cut out providing food and removing of entertainment systems
to reduce weight and thereby reduce fule costs has nothing to do with
what the customer wants. The decision of some ISPs to limit bittorrent
traffic or block skype etc has nothing to do with what customers want.

>
> I think that's at heart many tech geeker's unrealistic view came from.
> Companies exist to make money. They make money if people choose their
> product. Ultimately, it's the masses of people, everyone all
> considered together, that dictate trends and happenings in society.
>

Again, I find this naive. Sweeping statements like that assume a
situation of perfect competition with no product lock-in. Microsoft's
less than competitive practices are well documented as is there poor
responsivness to user demands. To argue that the current situation is
simply the result of user demand is even more rediculous in the sphere
of ICT than most other industries.

> If people prefer plain text, gmail would not have supported html. If
> supporting html as default is some kinda corporate plot to add ads or
> whatever, then it may backfire and people will stop using that
> product.

> If corporations made html mail the default format for email, i simply
> think that they decided, after extensive research on all aspects, that
> it is what people want, and ultimately benefit the them.

Again, no evidence to support your claim. Your argument that it was done
because it was what people wanted has no more basis than my arguement
that many people are totally unaware that their mail is being sent as
HTML and that I suspect most actually don't even care. My opinion is
based on my experiences working in the industry, which is of limited
empirical value. However, it certainly doesn't support your claim that
80 to 90% actively want it which is based solely on unsubstantiated
figures on the amount of mail being sent as HTML.

As my experiences are limited, I'm quite willing to accept that he
majority of people want HTML mail if anyone can present solid
quantifiable figures based on what people want as opposed from extremely
tenuous links between unsubstantiated claims regarding the volume of
mail being sent as HTML and that because the majority of mail clients
support it, it must be what people want. It's the old classic "all dogs
have tails, my cat has a tail, therefore it is a dog".

>
>
>> > Some sys admin refuses to
>> > install emacs an production server, and i was pissed. Did you know
>> > that unix is traditinoally the most insecure system?
>>
>> Hogwash. You have to learn to be a bit more critical in your
>> reading (I'm assuming you have read that somewhere). Statements like
>> that are just emotional FUD filled rubbish.
>
> Well, it actually happened to me. I don't know what planet you came
> from. But when i was in the unix industry, managing servers with roots
> to tens of servers... some sys admin refused to install emacs on the
> server that's not under my control. It is brought up in a conference
> with managers. Basically, i was telling them, if you don't install
> emacs, i won't do it. You do whatever installations etc you have to
> do.
>

I was not saying your claim that a sys admin refused to install emacs
was hogwash. I was saying that your claim that Unix is traditionally the
most insecure platform was hogwash.

> I mean, in my view, most sys admins are morons. (oops, execuse my
> french)
> Thinking back, i shouldn't have been rather confruntational on that
> issue. I could be more friendlier.
>

Well, I suspect that a different attitude probably would have gotten you
a better result. To make the sweeping statement that all sys admins are
morons only shows how judgemental and narrow minded you are. Ironic that
this is close to your frequent criticism of anyone else who disagrees
with you. Your arrogance regarding your intellect and insistance that
everyone else is stupid only proves how insecure you are. A treuly
intelligent and secure individual is not threatened by opinions that are
different to their own. In fact, they often seek them out in order to
help solidify their own beliefs and understanding.

On some levels its a pity. On the very odd occasion, you have said
things that actually do make sense. However, more often than not, you
do it in such an abrasive and poorly sructured manner that all you
really do is immediately make people stop listening. I've often wondered
if all you really want to do is be contrary and argue and that in
reality you have no genuine interest in seeing things change or
improve. I will note that I have noticed some improvement in recent
months, particularly in this group, where you have asked on topic
questions and at times even provided helpful advice rather than
ideological dogma.

>> For a start, there is no one
>> Unix - they are all different and have had different volnrabilities. You
>> also need to distinguish between security issues due to misconfiguration
>> and security issues that are a result of the fundamental design or poor
>> programming. Sweeping statements like that mean absolutely nothing.
>
> Well, i always thought, judging from your posts, that you are some
> student. Over comp.lang.lisp last months or so you indicated that you
> are 40 or 50 something? Ok, so i'm not sure you actually knew less of
> unix then me. But you can check out my unix tutorial and commentary
> here and get some inkling on what i know.
>

I looked over a lot of your stuff some time back. My feeling was that
you had some broad, but quite shallow, understanding of UNIX and you had
essentially both missed the point and again garbled cause and effects.
personally, I found your writing style unpleasant and some of your
advice misguided. However, I have no issue with it and if others find it
useful thats excellent.

>> Note also, its not bot-nets of UNIX boxes that spammers and a growing
>> number of serious criminals are using - they are bot-nets of windows
>> boxes.
>
> Well, perhaps let's not start on the issue of Microsoft hatred ok?
>

It makes me laugh you post that only a few lines below your link to "The
Unix Pestilence"

I have no strong hatred of MS Windows. I don't like it as an OS, but its
just one of many OSs I don't like (I didn't like SunOS or VMS either). I
don't understand why you immediately think that because someone is
critical of something they hate it. I personally think that the Windows
OS right up until 2000 was of extremely poor quality. However, with the
exception of Vista (which I've had very little to do with), I think they
have improved significantly. Some of MS' business practices are to say
the least, questionable and I don't think it is a company I would like
to work for. However, I don't have any hatred or other emotional baggage
relating to them. I personally don't like their OS, but as it does
represent the majority of what users have, I accept it. Luckily, for the
last few years, I don't hae to worry about it much as my work is now
focused at the server end and currently I only have to concentrate on
Oracle, Linux and Tru64.

Pointing out that the bot-nets are almost 100% made up of systems
runninig MS Windows has no emotional context - its just a fact. You can
rationalise in whatever way you want to explain it, but don't assume
because I list that fact that it also follows I'm an MS hater - again,
another incorrect conclusion based on flawed logic (given how smart you
claim to be, you make this error a lot).

> Seriously, i consider Microsoft's OS far secure than unixes, when
> considered on the whole of the OSes's history. See for example, i've
> written rather detailed reasons on why i think it:
>
> On Microsoft Hatred
> http://xahlee.org/UnixResource_dir/writ/mshatred155.html
>

I find you totally lacking in credibility in this area. That link is
nothing but an emotional driven rant with absolutely no facts or
credibility. It also seems that the rest of the world disagrees with you
in your claim that MS is good as a server. All the research has found
that MS has completely failed to get any real traction in the server
environment. They have completely failed to get any real share of the
web environment and if the figures keep going the way they have been,
they may as well give up IIS and let Apache have it. Microsoft shares
have been pretty much stable for a long time and now they are getting
very worried about google and 'cloud computing'. I've lost count of how
many times they hav attempted to purchase Yahoo in order to get a foot
hold in the search and more importantly, lucrative on-line advertising
market. I can't believe you think MS Word is a good product. It has to
be the worst word processor I've ever used. I'd rather go back to
Wordstar 4 than use word.

> Before MS hatred, there was IBM hatred around 1990. I suppose before
> that there was AT&T unix hatred. And now there's increasing bad
> mouthing on google. I think tech geekers simply hate anything big or
> successful.
>

You can be critical of something without hating it. I'm very critical of
your writing style, your aggression to those who disagree with you and
your lack of real deep udnerstanding on many of the topics you post
about, but I don't hate you.

Again, you miss the point. For those who are using HTML mail, this is an
issue because it means they will get more spam. Even if your just
looking at the plain text part, you may not see the actual spam, but it
isn't geting blocked and kept out of your inbox - you still have to deal
with it even if that just means hitting delete.

>> As to your reference to the "I love you" virus, that isn't what most
>> people would call spam, but rather a virus.
>
> well, what terms you like to call it doesn't matter. The point was
> that bad things, happens in plain text too as frequently in html.
>

I dispute that as well. By far the greatest increase in security
problems has been due to fishing attacks and they depend very much on
HTML mail. the fact that in some mail readers you can get them to
execute malicious scripts that are embedded in the HTML adds further
problems you don't get with plain text. although I've not examined in
any detail, I suspect there are also probably cross-site script
exploints that would impact mil clients set to display HTML that doesn't
happen with plain text.

I can't think of a single issue with plain text that is unique to plain
text that isn't also an issue in HTML. However, I cn think of many that
are a problem with HTML and not with plain text.


>> > Suppose your girlfriend send you a email with the line “i ♥ u!!” with
>> > the heart in bold and large and color red. Are you gonna bitch how it
>> > is abuse of fontification and lack of knowledge in writing and waste
>> > of bandwitth resource?
>>
>> No I'd just dump her for being a tasteless unimaginative
>> cliche. Luckily, my current partner has better taste and while not a
>> person even slightly interested in tech stuff, she is smart enough to
>> understand the issues and has no problem with plain text.
>
> So you are ditching the market of sweet sixteens? You know, they hog
> on myspace with cellphones. Too bad for you.
>

I lost interest in 16 year olds when I stopped being a teenager -
probably because I don't think of women as objects and because I'm not a
pedophile. YMMV.

>> This is another point I've noticed with your posts. I think you
>> unde-estimate people. You seem to have an attitude that anyone who has
>> even a basic technical grasp of things is a tech geek.
>
> Well, no. The tech geekers are thos who hog comp.lang newsgroups and
> slashdots, for example. They are a class of people with no knowledge
> in social sciences what so ever. They are the ones who said, i wrote
> before, here:
>
> (as a example of
> a characteristic thought pattern of these people... one can image
> they
> are the type of guys who said computers should never adopt the mouse
> (~1990), GUI (~1990), the web should not commercialize (~1995), web
> should not have cookies (~1997), css or javascript (~1998), source
> code should never have syntax coloring (mid 1990s), blogging is for
> teens (early 2000s), Wikipedia is for morons (~2004). In their quite
> strong opinion, these type of features or changes are a waste of
> computing cycle, fad, or for kids or dumbing down society, when these
> things were in their early days and their future is not certain.)
>

AGain, huge generalisation. What does amaze me is that you seem so
surprised when you go into a technical group like c.l.l and sprout some
unsubstantiated irrelevant (to c.l.l) content that your not woarmly
received or that the responses have a technical bias - what do you
honestly expect to be the reaction when you go into a technical forum
and start abusing people for being technical geeks/morons.

>
> It's not about popularity. Yes pragmatic. And it's not about “go with
> the flow”. Consider technology and its history, adopting html mail in
> a email app is very reasonable.
>
> Let me make it clear. I consider, those who don't see this, or would
> argue about it, as most did here, are completely ignorant of anything
> about social or historical aspect of technology. COMPLETELY CLUELESS.
> I mean, this is rude to say, and i'm sorry. I don't mean to be
> disrespectful. I try to be on topic, and polite.
>

Then you have a very odd definition of polite. Calling whole groups of
people morons and tech geeks when they disagree with you is a long way
from what I would call polite. Assuming that because someone has a
different opinion to yours they are ignorant and don't understand social
issues is both arrogant and rude.

>
>> My perspective could well be defined as being ideological, but unlike
>> you, I don't see that as a bad thing as long as its not taken to an
>> extreme. As I actually provided the OP with suggested solutions and only
>> mentioned that it was a bad idea to use HTML formatted mail, I don't
>> think my view is that of an ideological extremist.
>
> The reason i responded to the beginning of this thread is the typical
> plain-text-email fetish, added uncessarily when answering the original
> poster's question about how to send html mail in gnus. This Luddite
> attitude is very harmful and is popular among tech geeking communities
> (e.g. comp.lang newsgroups, slashdot). As i gave examples above, these
> attitudes typically are against any technology that are not useful to
> hardcore elite programers, from gui to mouse to commercializion of web
> to css to javascript to youtube.
>

That is just your impression and doesn't mean it is correct or even
close to the truth. I stand by what I said to the OP. Unlike you, I
didn't attempt to lecture, call anyone morons or even criticise him for
doing it. I simply said it was a bad idea and provided him with an
alternative solution that was actually better suited (in the sense it is
a blogger interface in emacs rather than a 'workaround'). I didn't tell
him not to do it or anything else. I also dispute that it wasn't
relevant to his question. I provided him with both a possible solution
and some reasons why I thought it was a bad idea to use HTML in e-mail -
I even said "in general it is a bad idea", allowing for the possibility
that there could be a good reason to need it.

You on the other hand couldn't resist the temptation to charge in and
start sprouting your poorly aticulated and structured and totally
irrelevant and unsubstantiated arguements why all mail and emacs mail
clients in particular should support HTML.

> So ok, maybe we have a heated argument. You say X, i say Y. How can we
> resolve this argument?

Personally, I have no interest in resolving it. I disagree with your
opinion and until I see any independent research that supports your
arguement, I'm unlikely to change. in the end, its irrelevant. If all
you plan to do is moan about it in this gorup, nothing will change
anyway. If enough agree with you and either you or they are prepared to
step up and make the necessary changes, then great, issue done and we
can get back to real problems rather than unsubstantiated imaginary
ones.

>> > efficiency has to be considered on the whole. The time spend to talk
>> > to these people about the merits of plain text, is a use of resource.
>> > Is this resource, for you to teach, and for him to learn, less
>> > valuable than the seconds or bytes HTML email consumes?
>>
>> Yes, because the time I spend explaining such things doesn't cost you
>> and everyone else money. The increased bandwidth, security problems,
>> spam and added cost of trying to prevent it cost us all because
>> providers need to cover these expenses somewhere and they do that by
>> charging us more.
>
> spending time to explain to others about tech details of html vs plain
> text is costy. It's a human labor, one of the most costy thing.

You still miss the point. My time talking to a few people about HTML
mail doesn't cost you and others anything. However, the additional
infrastructure necessary to handle the extra bandwidth, storage,
anti-spam processing, recovery costs from security exploints etc etc
cost /all of us/ money because the providers will pass this cost on to
the customer. If we wanted to educate everyone, then yes, that would
cost money, but that wasn't your arguement. Note also that an education
program would represent a cost until those considered 'leaders'
udnerstand. At this point, the information would become almost viral and
wold not need any further funding. Compare this to a growth in users and
HTML mail, itself bloated and you have a permanent on-going cost. You
could argue that the additional bandwidth and security issues are
nothing in the scheme of things, but if you also consider that the
majority of the worlds population still don't have e-mail, this
additional overhead is quite significant.

>> wonderlust and gnus do.
>
> Well, i used vm with xemacs during 1998-2000. I don't recall it
> support html but i might be wrong.
>
> We can stop this conversation, or we can start with a focus on a
> explicitly phrased topic. Then we can clarify which is opinion, which
> is preference, which are facts, and create more explicit sub topics.
> Then perhaps eventually we might agree, or agree to know, which points
> exactly we don't agree.
>

I don't believe it will achieve anything. So far, the only 'facts' you
have presented don't actually relate to the arguement and are of dubious
providence anyway. Your arguement is based on unsubstantiated opinion,
as is mine and therefore unless one of us has some real facts, things
will jsut go around in circles.

While this has been a fun distraction, I also need to get back to some
real work. It was good to have something to distract me from the flu
I've been fighting over the last 4 days.

Tim

Xah

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 6:16:43 AM8/9/08
to
On Aug 8, 3:15 pm, Phil Carmody <thefatphil_demun...@yahoo.co.uk>

it's no use keep saying others are dense.

You have to give reasons. You gave none.

I gave reasons on how your F15 analogy is incorrect.

I also asked what's is your argument for your Finnish emails analogy.
And i explained that analogy by themselves doesn't work as a valid
reasoning.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Sean Sieger

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 9:19:57 AM8/9/08
to help-gn...@gnu.org
Xah <xah...@gmail.com> writes:

> I give up. You're painfully dense.

it's no use keep saying others are dense.

You have to give reasons. You gave none.

I'm thinking of dense, like thick---uncommunicative,
uninsightful---yeah, like that (not to mention sarcastic---sarcasm is
off the topic of density, but I'll go back and address that if you
insist).

You're dense because, in another thread that you high jacked, you made a
point of insulting a kind man by pointing out the word count of his
message and the purpose of those words as if he was in error because of
these two facts. YET your poorly written (and again off topic, but if
you insist, I'd love to address the issue that you portray yourself as
some sort of essayist---in English for some bizarre reason, I hope your
choices of programming languages are more appropriate---but, your grasp
of English Grammar is very weak. Thank goodness for debuggers, no,
Xah?) and loaded with PAGE COUNTS ... I know, I know they are there to
further you heroic effort to INFORM the unwitting. AND your posts are
always long and repetitive. But you never SEE any of that. THAT is a
reason ... one SOLID reason why you are dense.

Another, is an extension of the above thoughts. You load most every one
of your posts with URLs to those poorly written `essays'. But the most
significant thing that has jumped out at me from your posts and your
website is that you sound very alone.

Xah, your sarcasm and insults bug me.

Xah

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 10:19:52 AM8/9/08
to
On Aug 9, 6:19 am, Sean Sieger <sean.sie...@gmail.com> wrote:
> Xah<xah...@gmail.com> writes:
>
> > I give up. You're painfully dense.
>
> it's no use keep saying others are dense.
>
> You have to give reasons. You gave none.
>
> I'm thinking of dense, like thick---uncommunicative,
> uninsightful---yeah, like that (not to mention sarcastic---sarcasm is
> off the topic of density, but I'll go back and address that if you
> insist).

you are full of insult.

when a controversial subject is introduced in a group, for example, a
protestant saying something about Pope in a Catholic church, often
people will read into it all sort of things the person never have
said.

I think that's the case here.

> You're dense because, in another thread that you high jacked

It's not hijack. In this thread, someone mentioned the opinion about
html mail, which i didn't find reasonable, so i replied.

> , you made a
> point of insulting a kind man by pointing out the word count of his
> message and the purpose of those words as if he was in error because of
> these two facts.

not sure what message you are talking about. Are you talking about
“comp.lang.lisp”?

> YET your poorly written (and again off topic, but if
> you insist, I'd love to address the issue that you portray yourself as
> some sort of essayist---in English for some bizarre reason, I hope your
> choices of programming languages are more appropriate---but, your grasp

> of English Grammar is very weak. Thank goodness for debuggers, no,Xah?) and loaded with PAGE COUNTS ... I know, I know they are there to


> further you heroic effort to INFORM the unwitting. AND your posts are
> always long and repetitive. But you never SEE any of that. THAT is a
> reason ... one SOLID reason why you are dense.

I think you are probably talking about my posts elsewhere. If you want
to bring them into discussion here, welcome. Perhaps best to start a
new thread. Frankly, as far as netiquette goes, i believe i'm better
or not worse, than most neticizens.

> Another, is an extension of the above thoughts. You load most every one
> of your posts with URLs to those poorly written `essays'. But the most
> significant thing that has jumped out at me from your posts and your
> website is that you sound very alone.

Yes. You have cute sisters?

> Xah, your sarcasm and insults bug me.

Maybe that's a compliment. Thank you.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Alan Mackenzie

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 10:34:11 AM8/9/08
to Xah, help-gn...@gnu.org
Hi, Xah!

On Thu, Aug 07, 2008 at 07:34:14AM -0700, Xah wrote:
> Tim X wrote:
> «In general, HTML in mail messages is a bad thing.»

Agree, in general.

> HTML in email is a very good thing.

Disagree, in general.

[ .... ]

> Emacs's rmail, should adopt the ability to send HTML mail. It is my
> guess, that it will adopt it eventually. The question is just how many
> more years later?

Xah, it will happen when you implement it. Nobody else seems to care
enough about it to do the work. The "it" that you want to adopt HTML
mail are fairly busy stressed out developers, who're never going to find
the time to implement something as peripheral as this.

So please, implement it. Lots of people, those 80 - 90% who really love
HTML email, will thank you for it.

Any help you need, you'll get it on this newsgroup/mailing list.

> Xah

--
Alan Mackenzie (Nuremberg, Germany).


Xah

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 3:18:05 PM8/9/08
to

What's your point Ted? What is exactly your argument?

Are you trying to say, that because emacs is very old, and it is
designed for elite programers, therefore its email should not support
html mail?

Looks like from your previous post that's what you are trying to say.
And if that is what you are trying to say, and you think that's a
valid argument, then i think you are really stupid. Honest. I took it
that it is not what you mean because you are not that stupid, and i
took it that you posted that just to fuck with me. So i gave you the
same about unix's tool and man. Do you see now?

If you just want to play with words with me, i give you this poem to
enjoy:

chick a flirt,
raging a cock,
don't have it you?
fuck off
—Xah Lee, 2000-04

O wait, don't call the troll police yet. Perhaps you actually tried to
express some fair argument, but just need me to dig it out? What is it
Ted? Emacs is old therefore it should not support html mail? Emacs is
for elite programers? and hterefore it should not support html mail?
Help me out Ted. I really don't see what it is you are trying to say.
O, perhaps, what you were trying to say was that emacs users are
experienced hackers, and since most of these hackers hate html mail,
therefore emacs should not support html mail?

To save slipslop and back and forth exchange, let me assume that the
last suggestion above is what you meant. So, you say:

Dear Xah, emacs users are experienced hackers, and since most of these
hackers hate html mail, therefore emacs should not support html mail.

Ok. Thanks Ted for this thought. I'm not quite sure i agree. For
example, if we say that emacs users are just tech geekers, well that
could be because it has driven most other users away. So we are left
with a very small clique of tech geekers as its users. But if we
improve emacs's usability problems, or improve its functionality such
as support sending html mail, then more “average” user will come back.

Also, let's look at the idea that emacs is designed for elite hackers.
Actually, in the 1980s when emacs was developed, most computer users
are all what you'd call elite hackers. There was no youtube, there's
no comics on the web, there's no youporn, there was no stock ticks for
businessmen, there was no ebay, no amazon, no blogs. There was hardly
even word processors, spreadsheets, for business heads, and no MacDraw
or MacPaint for artist types. Most, if not all, computer users are
scientist and programers in the 1980s.

Ok Ted? Please let me know what you think and i'll give you my
feedback.

Hey Ted, who are you anyway? Sometimes i wonder who's behind the email
address in newsgroups. Chances are, if i knew what they looked like in
real life, i wouldn't have bothered to respond. LOLz.

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Xah

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 3:41:34 PM8/9/08
to
On Aug 8, 11:24 am, Cor Gest <c...@clsnet.nl> wrote:
> Some entity, AKAXah<xah...@gmail.com>,

> wrote this mindboggling stuff:
> (selectively-snipped-or-not-p)
>
> > Now you are calling me troll.
>
> That would only be the case if you would know what you where talking
> about, if not, then you must be a true supporter of phishing & spamming
> by proselitizing the use of the very tool that the crimminals use to
> exploit the ignorance of the technically inept users.


So, you are saying, that suggesting html mail support in emacs is
encourage phishing and spaming activities?

Is this Wonderland Logic?

Is this thread now a mad tea party?

«Take some more tea,» the March Hare said to Xah, very earnestly.

«I've had nothing yet,» Xah replied in an offended tone, «so I can't
take more.»

«You mean you can't take less,» said the Hatter: «it's very easy to
take more than nothing.»

«Nobody asked your opinion,» said Xah.

«Who's making personal remarks now?» the Hatter asked triumphantly.

Further readings:
http://xahlee.org/p/alice/alice-ch07.html
http://xahlee.org/Periodic_dosage_dir/sanga_pemci/white_rabbit.html

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Cor Gest

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 5:03:16 PM8/9/08
to
Some entity, AKA Xah <xah...@gmail.com>,

wrote this mindboggling stuff:
(selectively-snipped-or-not-p)

> So, you are saying, that suggesting html mail support in emacs is


> encourage phishing and spaming activities?

It's merely the consequence of your decision.
You want to give the added power of emacs in the hands of criminals, so
you are part of the problem....


cor

Xah

unread,
Aug 9, 2008, 6:23:27 PM8/9/08
to
On Aug 9, 2:03 pm, Cor Gest <c...@clsnet.nl> wrote:
> Some entity, AKAXah<xah...@gmail.com>,

> wrote this mindboggling stuff:
> (selectively-snipped-or-not-p)
>
> > So, you are saying, that suggesting html mail support in emacs is
> > encourage phishing and spaming activities?
>
> It's merely the consequence of your decision.
> You want to give the added power of emacs in the hands of criminals, so
> you are part of the problem....

Today's is the Olympics in Bejing.

So, i was reading about it in Wikipedia. Although i don't have a TV,
and haven't had since 2000, but i still enjoyed the festive spirits
anyhow. After all, i'm Chinese by blood. So, in my wandering, i ran
into this welcome song on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1HEndNYVhZo

It is fantastic! So many beautiful chicks! My fellow geekers, check it
out.

Among the chicks, i have a hard time to say which one is my favorite.
Btw, you may not know, but most of these are Chinese stars, if not all
(you may recognize Jacky Chen there). But anyway, there is a very
beautiful chick that seems eurasion or some mix blood, at 1:51. Does
anyone know who she is?

Xah
http://xahlee.org/


Phil Carmody

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 5:52:48 AM8/10/08
to

You're a fucking idiot as well as a troll.

*Plonk*

Xah

unread,
Aug 10, 2008, 1:28:00 PM8/10/08