[Mailman-Users] text-only versus graphical

Dragon dragon at crimson-dragon.com
Tue Nov 21 01:18:06 CET 2006

Daevid Vincent sent the message below at 15:57 11/20/2006:
>Furthermore, it's just basic common sense, that if you you're going to send
>your email in HTML, you had better be considerate of bandwidth, size,
>formatting, etc. Otherwise, you are risking loosing your audience. But the
>same could be said if the person typed in all capitals, and swore like a
>sailor using plain-text.
---------------- End original message. ---------------------

But that is a large part of the problem. People are NOT mindful of 
these things and they also commonly lack that sense we all wish was common.

Let me say that positing this argument in this group is pretty much 
swimming upstream against a raging torrent of opposing opinion, at 
least that is how I see it.

HTML results in a lot of overhead, this is especially so with a 
number of MUAs that make bad markup (and more of them perpetrate this 
crime than don't). It is not unusual for a message that could be sent 
in 3 or 4 kB to bloat to 10 or even 100 times that size when 
presented in HTML. All of that markup and the images and what have 
you take bandwidth to send to all of those list members. A 
well-behaved MUA should also be sending HTML mail in a 
multipart-alternative MIME message with a text-html and a plain-text 
version of the message. All of that also adds even more overhead and 
eats more bandwidth.

It also depends much on the audience, what is important to them? The 
presentation or the message? A technical list such as this one rarely 
has need for any sort of graphical presentation. A list like this is 
plain text because it is the message that is important and all of 
that fancy formatting gets in the way.

Mailman is not intended to be a marketing device. People use it that 
way but it is not and never was intended to be a vehicle for 
advertising and customer contact.

I will also state that command-line is extremely useful and powerful. 
It's also extremely parsimonious about resources. An awful lot has to 
happen and run correctly for any GUI to light up to the point where 
it is useable to do anything. Next time your windowing system refuses 
to start, you may be grateful to have the command line.


  Venimus, Saltavimus, Bibimus (et naribus canium capti sumus)

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