[Mailman-Users] Digest message format?

J C Lawrence claw at cp.net
Tue Apr 25 21:52:47 CEST 2000

On Tue, 25 Apr 2000 11:31:14 -0700 
Gregory Leblanc <GLeblanc at cu-portland.edu> wrote:

> I realize that HTML email is evil, but I think this is one place
> where it would be REALLY useful.  I'm subscribed to a couple of
> digested mailman lists, and I've tried both plain text and MIME
> encodings, neither is satisfactory.  It seems that all of the
> pieces are there, just not put together in any useful fasion.
> Here's what I'd like to propose as a "option": HTML messages.  The
> digest functions already parse the messages, remove the subjects,
> and chop it up into pieces for the MIME parts, and stick
> everything together in a semi-coherent fasion for the plain text
> version.  To get useful HTML, all it would take would be to have
> the digest function put in a name anchor (you know, the little
> page.html#gohere thing) where it puts the messages together, and
> put links into where it puts all of the subjects that point to
> those name anchors.  Plus, if you make (leave?)  the default
> digested mode as plain text, you won't get people who can't handle
> HTML email getting it, the same way that you avoid that with MIME.

Reliably and correctly parsing and reconstructing MIME messages is a
non-trivial problem.  What you are proposing is even less trivial.

That said, I'd argue that the major problem with digests is that
people read them rather than bursting them back into individual
messages and then reading those messages as per normal.  Digests are
very useful in helping handling transport related problems (eg
message count, mailbox quotas, work interruptions, etc), but are an
absolutely lousy form for people to actually use, read, or

J C Lawrence                              Internet: claw at kanga.nu
----------(*)                            Internet: coder at kanga.nu
...Honorary Member of Clan McFud -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...

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