Plain ASCII, was [Re: recursion]

Derek Elkins
Sat, 23 Aug 2003 17:52:23 -0400

On Sat, 23 Aug 2003 23:21:26 +0200
Ralf Hinze <> wrote:

> Am Samstag, 23. August 2003 22:42 schrieb Jon Fairbairn:
> > On 2003-08-23 at 20:14+0200 Wolfgang Jeltsch wrote:
> > > On Thursday, 2003-08-21, 13:32, CEST, Keith Wansbrough wrote:
> > > > [...]
> > > >
> > > > BTW: please post in plain ASCII, not HTML [...]
> > >
> > > Or post both, plain text and HTML, in combination. Users
> > > of HTML-capable mail clients will be able to read your
> > > mails formatted nicely while others will still see your
> > > text without HTML tags.
> >
> > I for one would prefer plain text only. For one thing I
> > access my email over a phone line, so the more than doubling
> > of message size that multipart/alternative entails is
> > unwelcome.
> >
> > For another, few (if any) of the html encoded emails I've
> > seen are "formatted nicely". Either they look pretty much as
> > they do with plain text, or the have poor choices of fonts
> > or other questionable typographic design. Most of the time I
> > find myself looking at the plain text version in preference.
> I second this, Ralf

Despite that my mailreader has no issues with HTML and though I also use
a dialup connection, I don't think of HTML attached/encoded emails as
significantly larger, I still much prefer plaintext only emails. I've
yet to see an HTML email that didn't look identical to the
plaintext(when rendered) excepting only spam.

Even ignoring this, think about the archives.  One of the first
things I did was make sure my output was easily readable in the
archives (I needed to turn on line wrapping).  If it is then it
almost certainly is for anyone else and obviously for anyone browsing
the archives. This is what your message looks like in the archive:

Also, Hotmail doesn't correctly handle replies/followups.  Even
free Hotmail isn't worth the price (by far followups aren't it's only
faults), and if you are paying for it then God help you.  If you are
using it because it's free then just about anything is a better choice,
and there are armies of other options.