[Mailman-Users] The "right" way to reply to a mailing list

Steven D'Aprano steve at pearwood.info
Wed Mar 25 11:01:26 CET 2015

On Wed, Mar 25, 2015 at 02:31:08PM +1100, Peter Shute wrote:
> Steven D'Aprano wrote:
> > > The default for MS Outlook seems to be HTML rather than Rich Text.
> > 
> > What Outlook, Hotmail etc. call "Rich Text" is in fact HTML, 
> > not to be confused with Microsoft's interchange Rich Text Format, RTF.
> Outlook offers Plain text, HTML and Rich text as formatting options, 
> so I assume the Rich text they're talking about might actually be RTF.

I understand that Outlook's Rich Text Format is actually the old 
win.dat format:


Recent versions of Outlook apparently automatically convert "Rich Text" 
to HTML when you send to "an Internet recipient" (I assume that means a 
non-local user when using Exchange), which might explain why selecting 
Rich Text in Outlook appears to send HTML, and why win.dat attachments 
are now so rare. I don't think I've seen one in the wild for a decade 
or more.


If anyone cares enough to look for email sent from Outlook, you can 
probably determine for yourself what it is sending by inspecting the 
MIME type of the attachments, or looking at the raw content of the 
email. If you see lots of formatting commands inside angle brackets 
< ... > it's probably HTML, if they are inside braces { ... } (but they 
won't be ;-) it's probably the Microsoft RTF exchange format, and if you 
see a win.dat or winmail.dat attachment it will be "Outlook Rich Text".


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