Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: HTML-enabled mailing lists
From: Christopher Davis <ckd @ loiosh . kei . com>
Date: 07 Apr 1998 10:46:54 -0400
To: "'List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM'" <List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
In-reply-to: "Woodrick, Ed"'s message of "Wed, 1 Apr 1998 21:28:45 -0500"
References: <>

EW> == Ed Woodrick <>

 EW> Lead, Follow, or get out of the way!

My rule of thumb for any content--rich or otherwise--is "does this
supply sufficient value per byte to justify distributing it?"

This applies to trimming quoted text, not needlessly duplicating the
entire text of a message twice (once with plenty of <FONT SIZE> markup,
as if I were incapable of choosing an appropriate font size myself),
animated GIFs of a dancing walrus as part of my .signature file, etc.

One of the highest-volume lists I'm on is a beta test list for an editor
which, among other facilities, has a MIME-aware mail and newsreader
which can display inline images, play sounds, and so forth.  That beta
list often gets messages with GIF images of display bugs or
multilanguage display problems; clearly, these are appropriate content
for that list.  However, those images are cropped to the smallest useful
area, to save everyone bandwidth and storage space.

HTML, when used to mark up text in email, is of dubious value at best;
using it to apply minor font changes or the occasional colored word is a
waste of time, space, and effort.

Christopher Davis <>      <URL: >
Geographic locations in DNS! <URL: >

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