META: Word wrap

The Low Willow (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 17:44:08 -0800 (PST)

On Jan 26, 3:02pm, Joy Williams wrote:
} At 12:01 PM 1/26/97 +0000, Mark Grant wrote:

} >Hi... I'm not sure which email program you're using, but it doesn't do
} >line-wrapping, making life hard when I want to reply. Any chance of
} >fixing that?
} Hmm, how very odd. I just got a comment from someone who was delighted
} that my email was word wrapping when everyone elses was giving him problems
} and that is what I have it set to in my Eudora Pro 3.0, which is the latest

It's not so much the e-mail program itself as what is used to write or
view text. Most of the original Internet, going through Unix or VMS,
works on text with only ASCII controls (tab and carriage return, and
even those are mutable) and is displayed as is, with tab expansion only.
The one standard is that almost everyone was using 80 column screens.
So we want text with line breaks already in it, preferably less than
every 80 cols. I'd guess that native Windows and Mac mail programs
stream text when viewed, so you can just type text without hitting enter
-- in fact, you won't want line breaks, because those break the
automatic formatting.

I suppose the ideal solution would be for the Unix world to use smarter
viewers, or to have more MIME codes indicating whether text should be
expected to be pre-broken or not. But this won't happen quickly, and in
the meantime ironically the more technical people are more likely to be
using the 'primitive' Unix facilities.

Merry part,
-xx- Damien R. Sullivan X-) <*>

They made his home a living grave
Until the bravest of the brave
Was forced to leave the poorest of the poor.