The Null Device

Posts matching tags 'webmail'


Charlie Stross has a rant up titled "Ten reasons why I do not read HTML email".

While I don't take as hard a line on it as Mr. Stross, I pretty much agree with the sentiment; HTML email is wasteful, a nonstandard kludge mandated by the Microsoft/Netscape marketing departments and rarely if ever does it do anything text can't do. I also use Mutt as my mail client; reading my mail involves logging into a UNIX machine I have a shell account on and running mutt; this means I'm not tied to reading my mail where I keep my (hypothetical) copy of Outlook/Eudora/Apple Mail and don't have to depend on webmail systems (which are, at best, a compromise; they're good if you're backpacking through Outer Mongolia or something but not something you'd want to use from day to day).

The problem, however, is that a lot of non-spam email is HTML-only these days; especially with Hotmail (which is surprisingly popular with people who aren't UNIX geeks; and I'm not going to be so haughty as to only correspond with fellow techies and penguinheads) now sending HTML only by default. So after spending some time trying to ask non-technical users to switch to plain text because I'm one of the last few remaining mortals to not use a web browser to read their mail, I configured my mutt client to automatically convert HTML to plain text, by piping it through lynx -dump. Since lynx doesn't do images or Javascript, this avoids "web bugs" and various spammers' tricks.

I still don't read mail with JPEGs/Microsoft Word documents/&c. though. And when Microsoft Trusted DRM-Mail or whatever comes in, I won't read that.

annoyances charlie stross email html standards webmail 13


This is bizarre: Apparently, Yahoo's free webmail services silently change your words around when you send mail from them, in an arbitrary way. "mocha" becomes "espresso", for example, and "expression" becomes "statement". Though as it hyphenates "javascript" and bowdlerises some HTML tag names, the most likely hypothesis is that it's a hamfisted way to defang tags in outgoing HTML email. (via NtK)

bizarre internet language tech webmail wtf yahoo 2

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