[Israel.pm] multipart/alternative added

Mikhael Goikhman migo at homemail.com
Thu May 27 16:55:26 PDT 2010

On 27 May 2010 22:18:45 +0300, sawyer x wrote:
> More than fair! :)
> I think that these days we should be able to support what most
> people use. Not "most people" as in "most people out there that
> aren't necessarily on the list" but:
> - Most people who are on the list
> - Most people from the crowd that might be on the list
> Still not supporting HTML which is something very basic in a
> multitude of clients (this includes Outlook, Firebird, Yahoo! Mail
> - even the old version, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.), including some text
> mail clients as well, seems to be... well, arcane and
> inconsiderate. I know we all think consideration should come our
> way (it is always *you* not being considerate of *me*) but here, we
> should take into account that when most clients use a specific
> technology that most users (and potential list users) use, it makes
> sense not to ignore it for the very few of don't have a
> custom-configured mutt client (no disrespect to mutt).

Sorry, I fail to understand the problem from what you wrote. You can
consider that every mailer including mutt(1) understands multipart
contents or attachments correctly. And html is not a problem, it can
be ignored for multipart or even displayed inline using links(1) if
without alternatives or even win over the text alternative; all is
configurable and can be changed per message. It is just annoying to
see many contents in the unneedingly overblown message when only the
text content matters for the readers. This is a fact, we communicate
in text, you don't use any html feature like font size or images (at
least I hope so). :) So until now it seems that you want to force
html without any real reason. Just because others do it. Others also
use Java not Perl BTW. And are mostly non programmers anyway. :)

> Every time I wanted to post to this list, I had to move to plain
> text, write my reply, write another email, change the interface to
> rich text and discard the email. It's a hassle but I was inclined
> to do so because I thought Perl mailing lists are composed of very
> old people who refuse to acknowledge even the slightest modern
> technology (such as HTML), even if it serves most modern users much
> comfort. This was one of the reasons I haven't wrote much on this
> list (considering I write on my blog every week - if you disregard
> this past month). It's simply a pain in the ass. I feel like I
> should apologize for using something modern (that exists for more
> than 10 years!)

Ok, here you explain the behaviour of your proprietary mailer that
annoys you. I fully understand this part. I could not live with a
program that controls me more than I control it. But my choice is to
not use gmail. Not to change formats of technical mailing lists.

Do you agree that this is a bug on the Google side to blindly use the
last used content type instead of providing an option for the user to
set different default content types for specified addresses, once?

Also, do you agree that it is a bug in the html-preferred mailers not
to support the text content well. There is nothing wrong on providing
an option to right-align the hebrew lines (auto-bidi) in the message
display or composition if the user prefers this.

When I see a bug in mutt, I consider to patch it or solve it
differently. I would never consider to ask the technical mailing list
to become html-based so that I could compose html unconditionally.

> Instead I've noticed that the module-authors list isn't this pedantic about
> content types, and Gabor stated last Rehovot.pm meeting that he doesn't
> really care one way or the other - he's willing to make the changes if
> someone just explained which changes were necessary. The rest you read on
> the list.

I am glad that you don't care about the disk storage of your messages
(it was very smart of Google to buy and lock users with gigabytes of
storage). And honestly I have some gmail accounts to which I send all
junk videos and non-text attachments. But the main account that is
used for work and hobbies is of course shell based. Then I do care to
minimize the disk storage for messages (heh, BTW I remove the
text/html alternatives from the messages before storing if I happen
to get them and they weight 100KB, but this is pretty annoying).

> All my angst and buggery boils down to "it's just HTML, is it *that*
> horrible for you?"

What is important here is why you think that complication of messages
(having five Content-Type: headers instead of one) is needed.

Just so you can press the reply button and blindly compose in html?
But this can be done if mailman is configured to use the text/plain
part of your message and discard rather than pass the text/html one.

> And I'll tell you what, if you do a poll and find that most users on this
> list prefer (or even, *demand*) that the mails be sent in plain/text only,
> because they use clients which cannot display HTML content or refuse to
> acknowledge this technology - I'll be the first to start sending them again
> in plain/text. :)

The same here. If people want to communicate in html rather than in
text, I will accept this. But then I fear this mailing list will
degrade to non-technical talks. I mostly ignore now one other mailing
list (hamakor's), since it is usually talks in Hebrew nowaday and
almost no technical messages.

As I said, my mailer can show html ala-links, the issue is not "can't
show html", but why this sudden inconvenience is needed. (You can say
"can't show graphics", but html itself is just a hyper-text.)

In any case I think that appending the list footer to all messages is
redundant and Gabor can disable it. If nothing else it will simplify
the structure of messages with multipart.

To summarize. I didn't hear any real argument to use html. I heard
arguments against gmail (there are dozens more of its annoyances).


perl -e 'print+chr(64+hex)for+split//,d9b815c07f9b8d1e'

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