Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 2001)

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Subject: Re: Digest MIME types...
From: Tim Pierce <twp @ rootsweb . com>
Date: Wed, 11 Apr 2001 01:04:00 -0400
To: JC Dill <inet-list @ vo . cnchost . com>
Cc: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <>; from on Tue, Apr 10, 2001 at 01:09:57PM -0700
References: <> <v0313030bb6f6388e7bcc@[]> <v0313036db6f51490e9f4@[]> <v03130363b6f4eda6be8b@[]> <> <v0313036db6f51490e9f4@[]> <> <v0313030bb6f6388e7bcc@[]> <v0313030cb6f8ff3ac542@[]> <>
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Tue, Apr 10, 2001 at 01:09:57PM -0700, JC Dill wrote:
> I'd like to see a new digest format, which would contain the index only, 
> with URL links to the actual messages. ...

LISTSERV supports such an "index mode," though it supplies instructions
for retrieving the messages via e-mail, not the Web.  (At least, this
was how it worked up until a few years ago.  I don't know what the
current software supports.)

> As much as I personally hate HTMLized email, as list managers we need to 
> think about how to effectively deal with it.  Our list subscribers are only 
> going to want to use it more and more.  At some point we have to find a 
> solution that meets their expectations, or all lists will ultimately end up 
> hosted by yahoo.groups.

I kind of disagree for two reasons.  One is that, with respect to
digests, I don't think that GUI mail readers that support MIME
messages are really up to the task of handling digests with embedded
HTML messages.  For example, some time back we found that AOL's
reader, if it encountered a digest that included embedded HTML,
would apply the HTML preferences (text color, backgrounds, etc.)
to the entire digest, not just the single HTML message.  Until mail
reading technology catches up with itself, I just don't think this
is going anywhere.

The other thing is that I suspect people care a lot more about being
able to write HTML mail than being able to read it.  If you tell
someone they can't post to your list in HTML, they'll go off to
yahooonegroupselist and start a new list there.  If you let them
post but simply strip the HTML or render it in dumb text, they may
gripe a little but are less likely to storm off in a rage.

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