Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(October 2001)

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Subject: Re:HTML mail and AOL 7.0
From: Charlie Summers <charlie @ lofcom . com>
Date: Sat, 20 Oct 2001 22:59:28 -0400
To: "John R Levine" <johnl @ iecc . com>, "list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM" <list-managers @ GreatCircle . COM>
In-reply-to: <Pine . BSI . 4 . 40 . 0110202055350 . 21701-100000 @ tom . iecc . com>
References: <5 . 0 . 0 . 25 . 0 . 20010209225107 . 00af7a80 @ pop . climber . org>

At 8:57 PM -0400 10/20/2001, John R Levine is rumored to have typed:

> I don't recall if this has been discussed here yet, but I am relieved to
> report that AOL 7.0 fixes the "HTML everywhere" mail bug in AOL 6. If you
> send a plain text message in AOL 7.0, it's sent as plain text.  I've
> tested it myself.

   Yes, no, and maybe. If the user has current settings that change _any_
text attribute, particularly in the signature of their message (but I've
also seen it in a guy that has his default font set to bold in the body),
the mail will come HTML anyway, and trying to explain to them the problem
("but I SENT plain text!") is difficult at best. The settings carry over
through the upgrade to 7.0. It is only a guess, but I'm betting that if the
user replies to a message that is marked-up in any way by the AOL software
(I've seen this in people replying to a text/plain digest and the result
being HTML), the result will also be HTML. I don't doubt that an
intelligent user could get the software to send plain text, but trust me,
having spent the last two days dealing with some folks on one of my lists
testing 7.0, the novice user is competely at a loss even though AOL
"support" gives them minimal steps to follow.

   Is it really this tough for the "programmers" at AOL to add a "plain
text" setting that strips _all_ the type formatting regardless of its
source? I still recommend that people save money and grief, and get a real
Internet provider.


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