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Moderator's reminder: NO HTML Please!

Larry Orr larry.orr at asu.edu
Tue Oct 26 13:00:13 EST 1999

I have broached this subject before, but people still continue to
send HTML formatted mail, probably without knowing they are doing it
as some programs such as Microsoft Outlook Express do it by default.
Here is an excerpt from the online newspaper "TidBITS" (17-May-99
issue) regarding this subject.

------------------begin quoted excerpt-------

**Don't Send HTML Mail** -- I commented in the previous article
     that you should avoid using text styles or colors in messages for
     mailing lists because there's no telling what people will see.
     This point deserves some expansion, because it can be more
     problematic than I implied.

     Many email programs, including such popular ones as Emailer, can't
     render HTML-formatted messages, and even as HTML support improves,
     there will be plenty of people who won't upgrade or who prefer to
     use programs that will never support HTML formatting. As with
     attachments, then, there will be numerous people on almost any
     mailing list who won't be able to read your message as you
     intended. (Eudora Pro offers the option of sending both styled and
     plain text to avoid this problem.) Worse, depending on how you've
     sent the message and on the email programs of the recipients, they
     may see the straight HTML markup. And if someone replies to the
     HTML formatted message, the quoting can render the message even
     more unreadable.

     Some mailing lists explicitly forbid the use of HTML formatted
     messages for this reason, and even if that's not specifically true
     of the lists you frequent, it's best to avoid sending messages
     with text styles to mailing lists.

     Some email programs generate HTML formatting by default, so you
     may have to change settings to prevent it. For the programs listed
     below, I've identified the location of the formatting controls.
     Note that I'm using the arrow (->) as a shorthand notation
     indicating navigation, so the first item below would expand to:
     "From the Special menu, choose Settings, then scroll down to the
     Styled Text settings panel."

* Eudora Pro (Mac): Special -> Settings -> Styled Text
* Eudora Pro (Windows): Tools -> Options -> Styled Text
* Netscape Communicator (Mac/Windows): Edit -> Preferences -> Mail
     & Newsgroups -> Formatting
* Outlook Express (Mac): Edit -> Preferences -> Message
* Outlook Express (Windows): Tools -> Options -> Send

Larry Orr                               Larry.Orr at ASU.edu
Photosynthesis Center                   tel: (480) 965-1963
Dept. of Chemistry & Biochemistry       fax: (480) 965-2747
Arizona State University
Box 871604
Tempe, AZ 85287-1604 USA            <http://photoscience.la.asu.edu/photosyn>

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