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Re: [admin] Mail List Policy, Usage, Etiquette, etc. & Top-posting

From: Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 09:52:36 -0700
Message-ID: <CAAWBYDCHArhK1HmR5pqTvx=wkV7P_hZBGoVFGTv4NAiaRBKVXQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jean-Claude Dufourd <jean-claude.dufourd@telecom-paristech.fr>
Cc: public-webapps@w3.org
On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM, Jean-Claude Dufourd
<jean-claude.dufourd@telecom-paristech.fr> wrote:
> On 29/5/12 17:56 , Julian Reschke wrote:
>>
>> On 2012-05-29 16:53, Glenn Maynard wrote:
>>>
>>> On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 9:22 AM, Arthur Barstow <art.barstow@nokia.com
>>> <mailto:art.barstow@nokia.com>> wrote:
>>>
>>>      * Messages should be encoded usingplain text
>>> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plain_text>
>>>
>>>
>>> No, messages should have a plaintext *version* (MIME alternative).  It's
>>> common and useful to use HTML messages, especially when posting about
>>> actual spec text, where being able to use italics and bold is extremely
>>> useful.  This is quite a relic; I havn't heard anyone make the "emails
>>> should only be in plain text" claim in a decade or so.
>>
>>
>> Emails should only be in plain text.
>
> JCD: It would be easier for me to comply with this rule if I understood the
> rationale.
> My perception is that this rule is not relevant any more.
>
> Against this rule, I claim that the readability of replies in text-only
> threads is much worse, unless the replier spends ages paying attention to
> text formatting by hand which is not acceptable. At least, that was the case
> the last time I tried.

There are several fairly simple reasons supporting Glenn's point
(Julian's is simple excessive):

1. Many HTML-producing mail clients still produce very bad HTML, which
doesn't translate well to all clients.

2. In the same vein, the WYSIWYG nature often means that people end up
producing something that looks "good enough", particular with quote
towers.  Many of the rich-text editors I've seen have really bad
usability around quote towers.

3. I've seen a *lot* of abuse of color as a way of distinguishing
between quote and reply.  This is confusing because, first, it's a
second way of doing the same thing, and second, I'm color-blind.

Basically, in plain text there's more-or-less only way to do most
things.  It's really easy to format, especially if you follow a format
like Markdown so you don't have to think about things much.

I happen to read and write all my messages in plain text, and I can
assure you that it does not take "ages".  Most of the time, all I have
to do is trim the whitespace that Gmail inserts at the top, and trim
off signatures from the bottom.  If I feel like it, I'll take a few
seconds to clean up the quote tower too to add or remove blank lines
at the correct quote depth as necessary.  Responding to your email,
for example, took less than 5 seconds of formatting time.

~TJ
Received on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 16:53:26 GMT

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