Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: RE: HTML-enabled mailing lists
From: James Lick <jlick @ drivel . com>
Date: Wed, 8 Apr 1998 18:23:17 -0700 (PDT)
To: "'List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM'" <List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
In-reply-to: <B1AA3C851F6DD011BEEB0040333A8B54540FC2 @ exchange . di . com>

The VAST majority of messages in email are plain text.  The VAST majority
of html-ified messages in email are nothing more than the text with some
<p> tags thrown in front of paragraphs.  Of the remainder, the VAST
majority only use the html to put <a> tags around a URL.  This is not
enough to make html-ified messages useful as the VAST majority of
html-capable mail readers will automatically recognize most URLs and
automatically make them a hotlink.  The remainder of messages that
actually make some use of html are a TINY minority that is just not worth
worrying about.  Most people produce html-ified messages only because
that's what their software does by default, not for any desire to make use
of the function.

Realistically how much value does html add to a mailing list?  Unless you
are attaching images or video, which is too big for most large lists to
handle, you really aren't achieving much.  Hotlinks are very useful, but
most html-aware mail readers automatically hotlink most URLs.  So you are
left with changing fonts or making bolds or italics.  Sorry, I just don't
see that this is enough to deal with the drawbacks at this time.

-- James Lick -- jlick @
 drivel .
 com -- -- AIM jlick1 --

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