Re: META: HTML messages

Abraham Moses Genen (
Tue, 24 Jun 1997 19:32:38 -0400

> From: Lee Daniel Crocker <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: META: HTML messages
> Date: Tuesday, June 24, 1997 1:31 AM
> > } Apparently, at least one member of this select circle has not
upgraded to a
> > } browser that can read HTML. In an attempt to please a possible
minority of
> > } one (at least until he upgrades) I'll write in plain script.
> As a twelve year Internet veteran, let me first correct your terminology:
> all "browsers" read HTML; that's their job. Some of them also read mail,
> which isn't their job, but many people think it is. Email has been
> around for a lot longer than the web has, and has developed its own
> standards over time to allow interchange between the millions of
> systems supporting it, hundreds of thousands of which have never even
> heard of HTML. Email programs support lots of features that have
> developed over those years to make email more powerful and useful.
> Many browsers fail to support many of those features, and instead like
> to make up their own standards outside of the Internet community so
> they can brag about "features" that have already been available in
> standardized forms.
> HTML is not and has never been a valid format for email. It has
> never been endorsed by any standards organization, it is not supported
> by most serious email programs, and is a serious waste of bandwidth
> and nuisance to those of us who use real email programs. The MIME
> format "text/enriched" /is/ a valid format, and less intrusive, and
> understood by real email programs (but not, alas, by the idiots who
> write Netscape mail and MS Exchange, so it should still be avoided).
> All communication requires standards. Without them, one would have
> to tailor every communication to its specific audience, which is the
> impossible state of affairs the standards were created to avoid.
> Where the standards fail, expanding them is justified. But where they
> work well, and have worked well for years, flagrantly violating them
> is pointless and rude.
> P.S. Thanks for the opportunity to expand ny Web page's rant about
> standards. The email nonsense hadn't occurred to me at the time. :)

Dear fellow Extropians,
The point as to a lack of standards is duly noted and is being taken under
constructive advisement.
In the interest of peace (and a possible -- but unlikely -- end to petty
quibbling) hereafter I'll use plain script. (At least until someone adopts
and impliments a uniform standard for the transmission of E-mail)

I appreciate all constructive suggestions.
Thank you,

A.M. Genen