[Mailman-Developers] Feature Request - Interactive HTML Digests

Mark Sapiro mark at msapiro.net
Sat Feb 20 17:31:59 CET 2010

On 2/20/2010 4:09 AM, Tanstaafl wrote:
> On 2010-02-20 1:23 AM, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
>> Tanstaafl writes:
> Personally, I usually set all of my lists to plain text anyway, so this
> wouldn't be an issue for any lists I host/maintain, but yes, I guess I
> can see how that might introduce another level of complexity to this
> request, but maybe such messages could be encapsulated somehow, since
> the features I'm talking about all have to do with interacting with the
> *headers* of each message, not the body/content.

Actually, you are not talking about interacting with message headers at
all. You are talking about an HTML document which contains some
rendering of message headers and contents and some buttons which may or
may not do what you want them to depending on the specific MUA that you
use to view this HTML document.

Further, your buttons would invoke something like

mailto:list at example.com?Subject=Re:%20The%20Subject&In-Reply-To=<message-id>&References=<message-id1>%0A%20<message-id2>%0A%20<message-id>&body=somebody%20wrote:%0A>line%20of%20text%0A>second%20line%0A

which is an RFC 2368 compliant mailto URL, at least if the 'body'
contains only 7-bit characters, but it is not really intended to be used
in this way, and I have no idea how many MUAs support it, particularly
if the body= part were long, and what it would look like if the original
message were not just plain text.

If you want things like quoting only selected text, the digest would not
only need to be an HTML page, but an HTML page with javascript. Would
you use an MUA that executed javascript in HTML email? Even Microsoft
eventually figured out that automatically running executables in email
was a really bad idea, no matter what useful things could be done with it.

> So, again, the main question is if it could use just enough HTML
> formatting to make the features I outlined work for the majority of
> modern email clients, while still maintaining readability for those that
> may not be able to make use of the interactive features. If it can, then
> I think this would be an awesome option for those of us who subscribe to
> a whole bunch of email lists. I subscribe to most as individual messages
> only because interacting with the list via a Digest message is very
> frustrating and requires lots of copying and pasting, and still breaks
> threading etc because of the missing headers.

I actually find interacting with the MIME format digest where I have the
ability to open any specific message of interest and reply to it (even
quoting only selected text if the MUA supports it) to be fairly
painless, and it doesn't break threading.

>>>> "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?
>> I suspect this probably could be handled by the existing configuration
>> options in almost all cases.
> Cool... so, do I need to send a new email to make this Feature Request
> official? ;)

No. Just put


in mm_cfg.py.

Mark Sapiro <mark at msapiro.net>        The highway is for gamblers,
San Francisco Bay Area, California    better use your sense - B. Dylan

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