[Mailman-Users] Message HTML/Plain text. Wish client display HTMLwhen possible

Mark Sapiro msapiro at value.net
Sat Apr 29 19:19:26 CEST 2006

Thomas Carpentier wrote:
>One of my lists is a newsletter. I use ThundeBird to write my 
>messages. Some of my membres can (want) HTML and others not.
>Sending a message in both  Plain Text and HTML doesn't seem to be a 

If you mean Thunderbird's Tools->Options...->Composition->General->Send
Options...->Text Format - Send the message in both plain text and HTML
setting, this sends a message of type multipart/alternative with a
text/plain subpart and a text/html sub-part. This is exactly the right
way to do this.

Assuming your list has content filtering turned off or set to pass all
three of the above types, that multipart/alternative message will be
sent to your list members. What they see is dependant on their own
MUAs and settings thereof.

>Apple mail displays the Plain Text only (as immediate 
>alternative). Eudora displays the two parts, plain text and HTML. No 
>idea about others programs.

Some MUAs allow the user to select whether to display the plain text or
the HTML by default. Some MUAs decide for you - usually picking the
last (most complex) alternative they understand. Some MUAs do not
understand MIME at all.

>Is there something to do, on the mailman side, such that the message 
>is automatically displayed in HTML only (at least at first 
>alternative) when the mail program permits it and the options are 
>enabled and in Plain Text in the other cases?

No. There is nothing you can do in Mailman to do this because it is an
MUA issue, not a message format issue per se. The same thing should be
happening if you sent the same message directly to the recipient and
not through a list.

This is why many people recommend that list mail be plain text only.
That is a format that all MUAs understand.

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

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