From: Marco Matthies [mailto:marco-ml@...]
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 12:05 AM
Subject: Re: [gentoo-amd64] Re: gcc compile failed after 2005.1-r1
instalation [OT- html posts]
* Bob Young wrote:
>> I know that many share this opinion, and although I don't want to start
>> flame war, I do think there are some valid counter points in favor of
>> Everyone is of course free to filter content based on his or her own
>> preferences. However most of the reasons given against posting html
>> really all that strong. In fact the only thing
>> suggests is that recipients "*might* only be able to receive plain text
>> emails." It goes on to note: "Most email clients however... are able to
>> receive HTML and rich text messages." It's pretty rare that a modern
>> client can't deal with html. I would argue that the very few desktops
>> using some flavor of GUI should not force a limiting "least common
>> denominator" type policy.
> Using plain text makes it much easier for a screen reader to read out a
> message to a blind person. It works with every email client, even over
> a slow ssh link. It's the standard, and for a good reason.
It's a trivial task to extract the plain text from an html message. What's
wrong with having the email client parse out the plain text and feed that to
the screen reader?
It's the *standard* because there wasn't anything else available in the
beginning, that shouldn't mean it *must* remain that way throughout all
eternity. At some point we should allow ourselves some more of the nuances
and subtleties of communication that exist in other forms of human
>> The other common reason given against html is storage space/bandwidth
>> issues. This is a weak argument also; in cost per megabyte storage is
>> dirt-cheap. [...]
>Take the worlds email traffic, add 20% to it -- i'm pretty sure you
>wouldn't regard that as insignificant.
The slight increase in size of "valid" email traffic would still be totally
dwarfed by the volume of spam, probably by a factor of 100 to 1 or better.
Not to mention the fact that some portion of valid email traffic is
>> Lastly there are some things that are just easier to communicate in a
>> format, diagrams and tables come to mind, we've all seen ASCII diagrams
>> various things and had to stare at them trying to decipher what was the
>> author actually trying to communicate. Even in a mostly text message,
>> italic, enlarged/reduced, or colored text used for emphasis or
>> can make communication much more clear. In short I just think that there
>> this "knee-jerk" reaction to html email in the FLOSS community, and it
>> justified by an objective evaluation.
>Honestly, how many emails on public lists (such as gentoo-amd64) do you
>know that make good use of html? In my experience, this is less than
>1%. But let us pretend for a second that people practised tasteful use
>of html to enhance their messages as you suggested. The problem is then
>that everyone uses a slightly different style, and that looks ugly when
>flipping from message to message -- just imagine a magazine with every
>page in a different layout. This does not increase readability at all.
Even with plain text, some people reply at the top, some at the bottom, some
inline. Some people don't trim quotes, some don't quote at all, and many
don't bother to spell check, or even re-read the message to see if the
sentences are coherent. Does anybody chide someone for a poorly constructed
plain text message? Html is just an additional tool that *can* aid
communication, can it be mis-used, of course, I don't think that's
justification for prohibiting its use.
> Besides, tables work fine in ascii, /adding/ *emphasis* _works_ as
>well, and if you cannot manage ascii art you can always attach an image
>if you must, just like you would do in html. Hyperlinks also work fine,
>just put them inline http://foo.bar/ or reference  them for later use.
I'm not saying that tables or emphasis aren't possible in ASCII, I'm saying
that they are much easier and more visually appealing in html. For example
how would you communicate the information in "The Best Way Home" example at
http://deming.eng.clemson.edu/pub/tutorials/qctools/flowm.htm using plain
text? And which do you think is easier and more clearly conveys the
>P.S. Somehow your quoting mechanism doesn't work correctly, making it
>hard to distinguish between your answer and the part of the message you
I've added the quotes.
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