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

From: イアンフェッティ <ifette@google.com>
Date: Tue, 29 May 2012 09:59:09 -0700
Message-ID: <CAF4kx8eMzc43eW1cQpgzsF20+UOi6EF5QBHxoy+y9M5hQfNc3w@mail.gmail.com>
To: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>
Cc: Jean-Claude Dufourd <jean-claude.dufourd@telecom-paristech.fr>, public-webapps@w3.org
On Tue, May 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM, Tab Atkins Jr. <jackalmage@gmail.com>wrote:

> 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
And your modified reply causes GMail not to collapse the replied-to text,
meaning that when I want to scan through a thread I have to spend a lot
more effort finding where the previous email ended and your reply beings.

There's a lot of benefits to formatted conversations. I don't understand
what benefits people are claiming from plain text that aren't resolved by
using an up-to-date MUA.
Received on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 17:00:02 UTC

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