Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 2000)

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Subject: Re: Oversized emails?
From: Chuq Von Rospach <chuqui @ plaidworks . com>
Date: Tue, 8 Feb 2000 21:28:30 -0800
To: mavery @ mail . otherwhen . com, list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <38A068A4.12458.1037D9C@localhost>
References: <38A03763.22629.43116C@localhost><38A068A4.12458.1037D9C@localhost>

At 7:04 PM -0600 2/8/2000, Mike Avery wrote:

>  True, it does depend.  However, in genral purpose mailing lists HTML
>  increases the size of the email by a factor apprpoaching 3.  Some
>  people don't like that.

Some won't like it, others are screaming for it. #1 on my hit parade, 
that's for sure. I'll bet if you survey your users, you'll probably 
be surprised at the answer.

>  Also, many people have email clients that
>  won't support html - people in companies with mini's or mainframes
>  and dumb terminals, for example.

Rapidly hitting the same level as lynx browsers for HTTP. there's 
been a huge shift in the last six months here. Six months ago, I'd 
have probably agreed with you. today -- not nearly as true.

>  Worse, many of the programs that generate html based email do a
>  very crufty job of it, and if you don't have the same email program,
>  you might not be able to read the email.  And your email client might
>  lock up.

Bad engineering isn't a reason to not do it. It's a reason to do it right.

>  All in all, unless you are sure your HTML will be welcome, you are
>  better off not sending it.

Comes down to knowing your audience.

>  Sending large graphics, or any large file, without asking first is also
>  rude.

definitely agreed. IMHO, ship the HTML, and have them load graphics 
off of a server. That's what amazon and infobeat do, and it means if 
someone doesn't want to spare the bandwidth for graphics, they still 
have the choice. There's really no good reason to stuff 
multipart-mime with embedded graphics in it. Use a server.

No, that's not quite true. Apple's iCards does exactly that -- 
because each iCard is generated uniquely and on the fly. But there's 
also a lot of work done to keep file size down because of that, but 
in THAT case, storing it on a server doesn't make much sense. But if 
you're doing customized stuff at that level, the rules tend to change.

Chuq Von Rospach - Plaidworks Consulting (
Apple Mail List Gnome (

And they sit at the bar and put bread in my jar
and say 'Man, what are you doing here?'"

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