Re: netiquette 80

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 30 Sep 1999 11:47:29 -0700 (PDT)

> Once again, I use no formatting. No fancy type.
> No carriage returns. Nothing. Nada....

Yes, that's exactly what we're saying, and that's the problem. Some email progams (especially Mac-based ones) do not put explicit carriage returns inside paragraphs, which is good for general word-processing applications and some other mail readers, but not for some old-school mail readers that expect those carriage returns at fewer-than-80-character intervals. The fault is not yours, but belongs to (A) the programmers of your email client and that of the recipient; yours was more concerned with the esthetics of the email than with the portability of its content, and eirs was just too lazy to put in the code to handle longer lines than expected; and (B) the creators of the protocol, who in their lack of foresight did not adequately specify the standard.

It's not a big problem, just a minor nuisance. People have been complaining about it for years in every list and every newsgroup, but email software progresses a lot faster than standards, so it will continue. I suggest that complaints be directed to the right place: namely, the makers of the software that exacerbates this problem. You should complain to your vendor that the default settings of your program create mail that is difficult for some recipients to read, and ey should complain that eir software makes it difficult to read some mail sent by some common software. It is probably more likely to be fixed on the receiving end than on the sending end.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC