Great Circle Associates List-Managers
(February 2001)

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Subject: Re: What to do about HTML-only email?
From: Tim Pierce <twp @ rootsweb . com>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2001 16:37:33 -0500
To: Charlie Summers <charlie @ lofcom . com>
Cc: List-Managers @ GreatCircle . COM
In-reply-to: <v03130319b6adcb41d62d @ [208 . 165 . 40 . 11]>; from charlie @ lofcom . com on Mon, Feb 12, 2001 at 12:34:35PM -0500
References: <200102120900 . BAA16485 @ honor . greatcircle . com> <v03130319b6adcb41d62d @ [208 . 165 . 40 . 11]>
User-agent: Mutt/1.2.5i

On Mon, Feb 12, 2001 at 12:34:35PM -0500, Charlie Summers wrote:
>    (*sigh*) First AOL 6.0 is brain-dead enough not to PERMIT sending
> plain-text email, but now MSN Companion (those silly little web appliances)
> joins in. Completely ignoring the argument that HTML email is or is not a bad
> thing, what are you folks doing about it? Accepting it as HTML email?
> Stripping the HTML (deMIME)? Rejecting it and copying the user's ISP if it's
> one of those who use propriatary systems to diosallow plain text? Having your
> users complain to their ISPs?

We reject all non-text attachments, meaning anything that's not
text/plain or message/rfc822.  (We also force everything to text/plain
anyway, or else message/rfc822 gets turned into an "attachment" and
people panic, thinking they're viruses.)

However, anything multipart/alternative with a text/plain body part
gets stripped of the extra crud.  We use an in-house tool I wrote
in C, because demime is written in Perl and we can't afford the
extra overhead.

At some point I'll also get around to rendering text/html messages
in plain text for the AOL or MSN toys.

>    Or am I the only one who gets ticked off by these Internet elephants
> telling me how I should accept email? Should I just lay off the espresso?  ;)

Yeah, but I also try not to let it bother me any more.  There's
only so much you can do to stop it, and cleaning it up for my
users is probably the most effective thing I can do.  (Insert Chug
rant here about how we're all hoary old dinosaurs except for him.)

Tim Pierce lead system admonsterator
and Chief Hacking Officer

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