Re: HTML: woes

Anders Sandberg (
11 Mar 1998 10:39:50 +0100

Anton Sherwood <> writes:

> Erik Moeller wrote:
> > Who needs more than 7-bit to exchange content? [...] Did it ever
> > occur to you that there might still be some people using PINE or
> > stuff like that?
> PINE? Until last week I was downloading most of my mail as a plain
> textfile and reading it in WordPerfect.

Ouch, I thought I was retro since I read my mail in Emacs, but I stand
corrected... :-)

Mike has pointed out a real problem: the current email standard *is*
old and locked in - we will likely have to deal with it for a long
time. Remember that Ascii is still buried in the bottom of Unicode -
somehow I think Vinge was right on the mark with his description of a
galactic Usenet with headers fairly similar to ours; ancient, basic
standards that everybody use but always try to circumvent.

It would be very nice with a better email standard, but such a move
should not be undertaken lightly. Besides not wanting to isolate those
who use older systems (an extremely simple standard can also be dealt
with by almost any system) there is also the issue of what new
features we need - typographic control is nice, but hardly the most
essential stuff. And even if you have a good idea for a standard you
will have to make it a standard, and that is obviously tricky
(remember MIME?).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y