[Wikipedia-l] html emails

Chad Perrin perrin at apotheon.com
Mon Apr 18 21:19:55 UTC 2005

On Mon, Apr 18, 2005 at 11:09:49PM +0200, Gerard Meijssen wrote:
> Faraaz Damji wrote:
> >Tony Sidaway wrote:
> > 
> >
> >>I'm sorry if this sounds unhelpful, but could I please ask you to
> >>*reconsider* any impulse you might feel to produce emails in html?  Text
> >>is much nicer.
> >>   
> >>
> >
> >*Completely* agree.  I use my reader in text-only because HTML is, more
> >often than not, very annoying.  Maybe there could be a text-only and
> >HTML version?
> >
> Hoi,
> Quarto is a production where much effort is spend on producing a nice 
> layout, this is to present what we do as well as possible. Without HTML 
> it does not make the same impact. When you want to see what it looks 
> like you can find old versions in the final format. It really looks much 
> better that the pre production stuff.
> It is nice that text has a high geek factor, HTML is for these purposes 
> superior.

That's nicely condescending-sounding.  Of course, this has nothing to do
with "geek factor" and everything to do with accessibility.  As I tried
to convey in other emails on the subject, HTML format is fine if the
only people you're talking to are people who are, by mere virtue of
being part of your target demographic, inclined to prefer HTML emails.
If that's not the case, though, providing HTML versions and no text
versions essentially makes your email so much garbage to many people.

This is akin to the arguments I see for making every website in the
world Flash-enhanced.  When I comment on the undesirability of Flash in
many cases, I might get the "You Linux geeks are all the same!"
response, but more than that I'm thinking about the millions of Web
surfers on dial-up, the Flash version conflicts, the security issues
involving remotely executed code, and so on.  I'll add your "text has a
high geek factor" pat on the head to the same wastebin as "You Linux
geeks are all the same!"

If you really want the thing to look nice and be inaccessible to many,
perhaps you should distribute it as a PDF attachment instead of an HTML
email.  The preferred reaction to finding out that some people don't
like HTML cluttering up their inboxes, though, might simply be to
provide an option for either text or HTML at subscription time.  That
way, people get what they want, rather than getting the entire HTML
layout when all they want is information.

Chad Perrin
[ CCD CopyWrite | http://ccd.apotheon.org ]

More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list