From: Eric Bliss [mailto:eric@...]
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 5:55 PM
Subject: Re: [gentoo-amd64] [OT- html posts]
>On Friday 09 December 2005 04:17 pm, Bob Young wrote:
>> Thank you, that's exactly the point, the major objection is on a *mailing
>> list*, the content is much more well defined, each and every message is
>> thousands of times less likely to be spam or malware, than any randomly
>> selected non-list email.
>Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that people have their mail systems
>to kill ANY HTML mail that they receive. And again, I ask - once you
>that many people are being aggressive in what they block (I for instance,
>never allow my e-mail client to run dynamic content or graphics - or even
>render HTML until I tell it to.), what are you going to be using HTML
>Fonts??? Text Alignment??? It's just not worth the trouble. It doesn't
>serve any useful purpose to send HTML that won't be rendered to people who
>are likely to delete your e-mail just because it has HTML.
That's the point, sure many people are tossing out *all* html messages, that
doesn't mean such a coarse, blind filtering policy is either justified, or
best. My point is that email from a mailing list is much less likely to be
spam or malicious, so just automatically banning html from all list messages
seems heavy handed, simplistic, and lazy. I understood Duncan's point about
"ruthless filtering," and was going to respond to it, but I accidentally
deleted the message. Everyone is of course free to "filter" on whatever
criteria they deem fit. I just think that the presence or absence of html
isn't a very accurate filter criterion. Obviously not all messages need to
be in html, and I'm not advocating that every message be sent in html. If
plain text serves the purpose adequately, then post the message as plain
text. I just think that allowing html posts as an *option* wouldn't be the
major catastrophe that the all the hyperbole surrounding html email would
lead one to believe. Further more I'd urge people to give some thought as to
*why* are they filtering out *all* html messages, and honestly consider
whether such a broad filter policy is really necessary. Are they doing so
just because of a general "html email is bad" bias without really
understanding the hows, and whys behind such an opinion, and whether or not
it actually applies to their specific circumstances?
>> This is disappointing. Just blowing off all opposing arguments any, and
>> saying it must be done this way, "because we say so" regardless of the
>> facts, or validity of opposing argument, is something I'd expect from a
>> Microsoft mindset.
> There may be nothing wrong with HTML e-mail in other
>contexts, but as you were saying, the issue here is HTML on this list.
>Following the rules of the community isn't something that's limited to
>e-mail. "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone" is a statement
>seen on just about any business you visit. When you're asking for service,
>there are rules you should follow depending on what you're asking for. On
>FLOSS lists, one of these rules is "Don't use HTML".
I understand that it's a *policy* of the FLOSS community, and that requiring
one to "follow the rules" when requesting help is valid. I'm just
disappointed that any hint of suggesting that *maybe* such a strict policy
isn't completely justified is treated as insane. Any suggestion that *Maybe*
things have changed a little bit since the time when the policy was first
created, and that *maybe* some modification, or updating of the policy,
*might* be in order, is treated as heresy, and blown off as coming from
someone who "doesn't respect the community." It's clear that "html email is
bad" has been so often repeated, that it's now taken as an absolute fact
that can never ever be questioned.
I don't really have any more to say on the subject, I've presented my
opinion; unfortunately I was unrealistic in expecting that there would be
more people willing to possibly question "conventional wisdom." I think that
in many people's minds, html email is automatically associated with
Microsoft, and therefore regardless of what the actual facts are, it is
therefore completely and unquestionably evil, bad, and must *never* ever,
ever, be allowed. Therefore people *automatically* speak against the
terrible, horrible, evil, consequences of allowing *any* html email
whatsoever, under any circumstances.
>Nothing personal here, just trying to better explain WHY some of us are so
>opposed to HTML in e-mail.
I've never thought it was "personal," I do however believe it's emotional,
and for that reason, I don't see any point in continuing. Many just "know"
that html is bad, and while there may in fact be some negative aspects
regarding html email, nobody is willing to even entertain the possibility
that posting in html might be okay in some cases. If nobody is actually
willing to admit that it's even *possible* that a contrasting viewpoint
might have some validity, there is really no point continuing the debate, as
there is no possibility of reaching any common ground, as none exists.
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