[Mailman-Developers] Feature Request - Interactive HTML Digests

Tanstaafl tanstaafl at libertytrek.org
Fri Feb 19 22:42:11 CET 2010

On 2010-02-17 11:15 AM, Mark Sapiro wrote:
>> 3. When replying to a message, preserve the message subject *and* all of
>>   the individual message references so that replying to messages from
>>   the HTML digests doesn't break threading - basically so it looks as
>>   if it was replied to individually and separately, not from the list
>>   digest.

> Current Mailman MIME format digests do this if the user's MUA supports
> it.

Ok, I switched to MIME digest for the users list for a better
understanding of what is supposed to be happening.

Currently, the MIME digest is a plain text message, and I don't see any
way to reply to an individual message, much less preserve the message
subject I'm replying to - unless you mean I'm supposed to actually open
the message I want to reply to in a separate window, then click Reply?

If so, that's not what I'm talking about... the title of this feature
request is 'Interactive HTML Digests'... meaning, I'm asking for a 3rd
choice for the option:

'When receiving digests, which format is default?'

[ ] Plain  [ ] MIME  [ ] Interactive HTML

Where the HTML digest supports (as many as possible of) the features
described in my request...

Note: in general, I don't like HTML email, but for digests, if what I'm
describing can be even partly accomplished, I think it would be a 'good
use' of HTML email...

>> Also - I use Thunderbird, and when I click Yahoos 'Reply to Group', it
>> does 2 things wrong, but I don't know if MM could do anything about this
>> or if it would be a Thunderbird issue:

> There's an inherent difficulty in what you propose. I suspect it is
> the reason why quoting doesn't work with TBird and Yahoo digests.
> Your points 1 and 2 imply that the digest must be a single HTML part.


> Thus, a reply of some sort button is really a mailto: link which in
> Yahoo's case, probably has a query fragment with "Subject=..." and
> could additionally have query fragments for "In-Reply-To=..." and
> "References=...". This mechanism could also support "fixed" quoting of
> the entire message with a "body=..." fragment, but quoting selected
> text would require some kind of scripting.
> My point is that MUAs aren't web browsers, and all this would depend
> heavily on on features that are not supported uniformly if at all in
> MUAs.

I'd be happy to attach one of Yahoos digests if you or anyone else was
inclined to take a peek at just what it does...

Most MUAs can render HTML email messages fine. Of course, I understand
they aren't 'browsers', so whatever code that was used would have to be
an extremely limited subset that should work in most email clients
capable of rendering HTML emails.

>> 1) it uses the email clients 'default account' instead of the account
>>    the user is in - so, if you just type something and click 'Send',
>>    it is sent from the wrong account and will bounce since the email
>>    address for that account is not a list/group member, and

> This is a TBird issue.

I know, but I guess I should have said '... if it would be *strictly* a
TB issue ...'...

The bigger question is, is there anything sane that MM3 could do to work
around such limitations using HTML code in most/all mail clients if an
interactive HTML version of the digests was implemented?

>> 2) Thunderbird's new 'Quote only selected text' doesn't work - in fact,
>>    *nothing* is quoted. This issue is not as big as the first one,
>>    since it can be worked around by simply copying the highlighted
>>    text (more often than not I select text to quote rather than
>>    quoting the whole thing) then 'pasting as quote'. Two more steps -
>>    not that big a deal, but hey, if it can be coded to use the Clients
>>    features, all the better.

> Works for me with Tbird 3.0.1 and Mailman MIME digests and "Reply" or
> "Reply All". "Reply List" is not offerred for a reply to a message
> from the MIME digest, because there is no List-Post: header in the
> individual message parts

I'm curious why? If I had received the message individually, there would
have been, so why not include them in messages in the digest?

> My personal feeling is that if things can be done in a way that works
> reasonably in MUAs that don't support the features, then it might be
> feasable, but if something works with one MUA and is a disaster in
> another, it is better not done.

I hope you aren't suggesting that Mailman should limit its features to
the 'least common denominator'... I don't see anything wrong with
*optionally* supporting advanced features of modern mail clients.

> Certainly, this kind of HTML digest would have to be optional.

But of course... and absolutely not the default.



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