Disable HTML in forum messages (was: Movie (MPAA) ratings and Python?)

Ben Finney ben+python at benfinney.id.au
Thu Dec 12 02:12:42 CET 2013

Dan Stromberg <drsalists at gmail.com> writes:

> On Wed, Dec 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM, Steven D'Aprano <
> steve+comp.lang.python at pearwood.info> wrote:
> > By the way, this forum is a text-only newsgroup and so-called "Rich
> > Text" (actually HTML) posts are frowned upon […]
> > If you can, would you please turn off rich text posting when you post
> > here please?
> Apologies. I didn't realize gmail was doing this. I had thought it
> would only do so if I used the formatting options in the composer, but
> perhaps it does so even when just typing text.

Thanks for taking measures to send messages in plain text.

> I found a "remove formatting" button in gmail's composer, and used it
> on this message. Does this message look like plain text?

Still sent with an HTML part, so some other change must be needed to
disable that.

> There isn't a lot of e-mail programs that don't do HTML anymore.

Many of the better mail clients allow the user to explicitly stop
rendering HTML (but still have it available, as Steven points out).

Disabling HTML in messages is a good idea: HTML rarely adds anything
useful to a message in a discussion forum, but it can cause the mail
program to do actions unwanted by the user (e.g. fetch images from
elsewhere, or run ECMAScript, or invoke HTML rendering bugs).

Plain text doesn't have those problems, which is why it's more courteous
to stop sending HTML messages in most cases.

Because it's inefficient to poll many recipients for whether their
system can work with HTML messages, avoiding sending HTML altogether is
especially advisable with multiple recipients, such as discussion

> I'm not really prepared to give up gmail's quick searching; I used to
> index my e-mails using pyindex and dovecot, but happily I don't need
> to anymore.

You will be pleased to know, then, that ‘notmuch’ is a client-side
system providing very quick email indexing and searching

Notmuch is available directly from several operating systems (e.g.
Debian) or install it yourself. It works with numerous existing mail
clients, and brings the significant advantage of organising one's email
by search, not by exclusive folders.

 \        “Intellectual property is to the 21st century what the slave |
  `\                              trade was to the 16th.” —David Mertz |
_o__)                                                                  |
Ben Finney

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