[Mailman-Users] Re: HTML mail

Tom Neff tneff at panix.com
Thu Nov 9 07:22:53 CET 2000

--On Wednesday, November 08, 2000 9:37 PM -0800 "Roger B.A. Klorese" 
<rogerk at QueerNet.ORG> wrote:
> Any corporation that allocates bandwidth so thinly that raising its email
> traffic by 3x creates problems has much bigger problems than whether it
> accepts HTML mail.

This sounds plausible until you pause to consider that
 (a) the entity hosting or managing a mailing list may not necessarily be a 
"corporation," and it is not solely the concerns of corporations that ought 
to guide us as managers and developers of mailing list resources;
 (b) from one entity to the next, it is difficult to generalize about the 
portion of overall Net bandwidth dedicated to mail distribution.  Most 
organizations would have difficulty tripling their OVERALL bandwidth 
consumption with discomfort and expense, so the closer to all-mail an 
outfit is, the bigger a deal HTML/MIME becomes;
 (c) even if a given list manager member's company, nonprofit, school, 
church, household, or air base does have "bigger problems," which seem to 
be in plenteous supply nowadays, it is not necessarily any of our business 
and should not be used as an excuse for wasteful, confusing mail formats 
when most people (as we are doing now) just write plain text anyway.

> And digests are easy -- that's what MIME digests are for.

MIME "digests" are both misnamed (since very little is digested, as opposed 
to omnivorously concatenated) and a major pain in the a** for 7/8 of the 
mailers in conventional use.  What is more, they commit the WORST carnage 
in precisely the situation created by marching-morons mailers like Outlook 
Express - where multipart text/HTML bundles are submitted for distribution 
on lists that are themselves MIME "digested."  It's a hideous mess, and 
it's definitely not why people wanted Digests in the first place - to 
reduce high-count discussion/announcement lists to a readable daily omnibus 
with concomitant space savings on redundant header info.

I would like to see some Web based solutions that let members see a Web 
based Digest (or some other form) when they click on a notifying URL.

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