Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(November 2000)

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Subject: Re: HTML Based Email with Majordomo Digest?
From: James M Galvin <galvin @ acm . org>
Date: Tue, 07 Nov 2000 11:53:33 -0500 (EST)
To: Allan Newsome <allan @ msic . dia . mil>
Cc: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <>

On the one hand, majordomo does not care about the content of a
message, whether HTML or anything else.  Like most elist technologies it
receives messages and it distributes them.  Plain and simple.

On the other hand, there are two times when it (and most elist
technologies) should care and sometimes create problems depending on how
successsful they are at dealing with them.

1. Digests - if digests are forwarded as MIME multipart/digests, then
   most MIME-aware email clients will have no trouble with HTML-based
   messages.  I don't know what majordomo2 does, but older versions of
   majordomo did not do this and thus by default HTML messages in a
   digest will be unreadable.  Of course, the recipient could take steps
   to put the message in a separate file and then view it.  After all,
   majordomo does pass the content through, it only "messes up" the

2. Administrative messages - Here again I don't know about majordomo2,
   but older versions would not parse the following:


   Most things that send HTML actually send a multipart/alternative
   which has text in front, so this is not as much of a problem as it
   could be.

In any case, how much all of this matters depends on your subscriber
community.  Therefore, your mileage may vary.


On Mon, 6 Nov 2000, Allan Newsome wrote:

    Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2000 19:27:52 -0600
    From: Allan Newsome <>
    To: List-Managers@GreatCircle.COM
    Subject: HTML Based Email with Majordomo Digest?
    I'm talking to the admin folks at the host of my Majordomo
    mailing list and they said the following.
    <<There wouldn't be anything to stop someone from posting a
    message <in HTML format> to a majordomo list. All it does is
    forward the message. The only thing I could possibly see is
    if an HTML email was sent to a majordomo list and the email
    reader receiving the message doesn't understand html. They
    would still get the message, but it would contain the html
    coding as plain text. If AOL 6.0 doesn't support plain text
    email as you suggest, it would not only affect
    majordomo...but  every email program out there that is not
    set to send out emails in html format by default. If you can
    point me to where you found out this information, i can do
    some more research. >>
    My question to the list is, does Majordomo support HTML?
    Does is support HTML in the Digest version of mailing lists? 
    My answer to the tech support guy was that he was wrong
    about the HTML being forwarded straight through in the
    Digest format.  I need to find somewhere that has the "real"
    answer and you guys are the best source of places to find
    that information. doesn't seem to have it.
    Allan Newsome

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