Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(April 1998)

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Subject: Re: HTML-enabled mailing lists
From: "Woodrick, Ed" <ewoodrick @ ed-com . com>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 1998 09:40:50 -0400
To: list-managers @ greatcircle . com

Title: Re: HTML-enabled mailing lists

My last message on the topic.

First, quite a few people ask why I send two copies of the text in my message. Well, one is for those who can read HTML and the other is for those underprivileged people of the world. Is it redundant? Yep. It's a transition setting.

And for those of you who are so worried about bandwidth, why did you include me on the recipients list? If I'm subscribed to the list, I'll receive the message. So, I would only assume that you don't think that bandwidth is that great of a deal, or else you wouldn't have used up that much of mine. 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. It only makes sense when the list processing and delivery is extremely slow. Otherwise it is a waste of bandwidth!

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?

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 know of no one (aside from you) who thinks that a monospaced single color font is the easiest to read. How many books have you seen published in Courier? On the other hand, monospaced fonts are an artifact of the early era of mechanization, the typewriter. Gutenberg even used proportional fonts on his printing press.

Think about it. When the auto was invented, people said that the horse was better. When the personal computer was invented, people scoffed at it's use. When the GUI was invented, people complained about the wasted use of processor cycles. Well, scoff all you want. Many people are trying to get computers to fit  into the human way of doing things as opposed to the computer way. Humans don't write in monospace fonts. It also won't be long before the mail lists become filled with full multimedia messages. Combinations of text, audio, and video to best convey information. And yes, you won't be using a 28.8 dialup to get there. Other technologies will eventually catch on and provide high speed pipes into the home and office.

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

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