W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html-mail@w3.org > March 2007

Re: No subset for email

From: Arnt Gulbrandsen <arnt@oryx.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Mar 2007 23:25:42 +0100
Message-Id: <hvH8bQ9JEH1E97rs5YHwNQ.md5@libertango.oryx.com>
To: Gregory Woodhouse <gregory.woodhouse@sbcglobal.net>
Cc: public-html-mail@w3.org

Gregory Woodhouse writes:
> Yes, but what I had in mind is that a web-based e-mail application is 
> just a web-based application, so there is no (non-voluntary) means of 
> restricting just those applications. i suppose that leaves the 
> unfortunate option of restricting he content of e-mail.

I wouldn't say restrict. Senders cannot today expect everything that 
works on the web to work in email.

Today, each renderer chooses which subset to render, and senders either 
use everything (I have email that expects javascript to be supported) 
or try to guess what's widely supported.

IMO it would be a clear improvement to have a subset such that email can 
be rendered sensibly (including rendering excerpts), permits replies 
and quoting, doesn't ask renderers to accept impersination attacks, and 
comes with a test suite. With such a defined subset, those of us who 
render email can work on that subset and those of us who generate email 
can generate just that subset.

> Now, that's been tried before (with rich text), without much (if any) 
> success. At least one reason why is obvious: If a small subset of 
> HTML is crystallized as part of the standard, it will rapidly fall 
> behind the rest of HTML. I don't see how we can realistically say 
> that mechanisms like stylesheets cannot be used when what users want 
> is improved presentation (and yes, the ability to hyperlink to other 
> documents).

It's been tried three times before. Two total failures (text/richtext 
and text/enriched), one reasonable success (format=flowed).

Received on Monday, 12 March 2007 22:35:44 UTC

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