Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: HTML-enabled mailing lists
From: Dave Voorhis <dave @ armchair . mb . ca>
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 14:10:31 -0500
To: "Woodrick, Ed" <ewoodrick @ ed-com . com>, list-managers @ greatcircle . com
In-reply-to: <>

At 09:40 AM 4/7/98 -0400, Woodrick, Ed wrote:

>And for those of you who are so worried about bandwidth, why did you
>include me on the recipients list? [...] 
>And sure, I know that replying to the list and the
>sender is considered proper etiquette on some lists, but just because it
>is considered proper, doesn't mean that it should be continued.

Perhaps, but it IS considered proper etiquette on this list.  Whether it
should or should not be continued is something for the list moderator to

> It only
>makes sense when the list processing and delivery is extremely slow.

Yes.  You'll note some responses to your original post showed up nearly a
week later.  I'd say that's rather slow.

>Otherwise it is a waste of bandwidth!

Only to the recipient, perhaps.  Redundant formatting, however, affects
every list subscriber and the system performing the list distribution.

>And yes, I know that I didn't convey any additional information in HTML
>on that message, and yes, I could have sent the message without it. But
>look at your messages again. How many "worthless" words were in your
>message. If you care about wasted bandwidth, why do you include all of
>those extra words? 

Speak for yourself.  If anyone is being unecessarily verbose, it's you.
And we're talking about formatting, NOT content.  We're talking about
formatting that ads little or no value, with considerable overhead and
associated limitations.  Writing concisely has nothing to do with it.

>And for the gentleman who indicates that reading mono-spaced fonts is
>considered by professionals as the best method for presentation to read,
>go find some more professionals.

I assume you're referring to me.  If you had read my post more carefully,
you would have realized I was referring to screen fonts, NOT fonts in
general.  Here is what I said.  Note how you have made a fool of yourself:

-I'll bet black and white Courier 12 point text on a video display is more
-readable than almost any other font of the same size.  A monitor is NOT
-printed text.  What's highly readable on paper is not necessarily highly
-readable on screen.

Note that I clearly distinguished between video displays and printed text.  

Of course, this argument is silly, because it supports my position more
than it does yours.  I can select any font I wish within my mailer,
ostensibly to choose one that's easiest for me to read.  If you use HTML in
your message to me, you can override that, thus forcing me to endure a font
that is _harder_ to read.  Therefore, from a readability point of view, in
this case, it is better not to have HTML.

>also won't be long before the mail lists become filled with full
>multimedia messages.

You are correct.  As I said before, I don't doubt that HTML and other
content is inevitable.  However, in its present form, it is so flawed as to
be unreasonable to accept.  When universal standards for HTML-in-email have
been established, and are generally supported by MUA's and list and
list-digest software, then I will happily accept HTML.  Until then, I say
no, and my s*bscribers are pleased with that policy.

And isn't THAT really the ultimate goal -- that your s*bscribers be kept

>P.S. I know I must be doing something right, to have upset so many
>people with responses that are grasping at straws! 

Oh, come on, admit it:  You've been trying unsuccessfully for months to
turn off the HTML "feature" in your mailer, so now you're left desperately
defending it as if it was a good thing.  I mean, anyone who formats a
message with a tiny light-blue font, and randomly peppers it with oversized
red letters and words, couldn't possibly have effective communication in

Dave Voorhis

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