HTML-Formatted E-mail

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HTML-Formatted E-mail

David E. Ross
I am posting this comment here because I am sure it would not be
approved by the moderator for mozilla.support.thunderbird.

Jo0-Anne posted the following in mozilla.support.thunderbird on the
morning of 30 June.  In less than 36 hours, this resulted in a thread
with 22 replies.  I know more replies were submitted (another on-topic
one by me) that never reached the newsgroup.
> I have one friend who sends his messages in plain text. He doesn't mind
> getting them in HTML. I have set my options to always send in HTML.
> However, when I reply to some of his messages, my Compose screen shows
> plain text.
>
> Any idea of why this happens?
>
> And how can I change the screen to HTML? (I tried SHIFT-REPLY, and it
> didn't work.)

What no one asked -- and what Jo-Anne never answered -- is:  What
information could be conveyed by an HTML-formatted message that could
not be conveyed by a plain text message?

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Trump claims he is the "law and order" President.  Then, he
breaks the law by using copyrighted music at his rallies
without permission from the copyright owners.
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

Big Al-3
On 7/1/20 10:50 PM, this is what David E. Ross wrote:

> I am posting this comment here because I am sure it would not be
> approved by the moderator for mozilla.support.thunderbird.
>
> Jo0-Anne posted the following in mozilla.support.thunderbird on the
> morning of 30 June.  In less than 36 hours, this resulted in a thread
> with 22 replies.  I know more replies were submitted (another on-topic
> one by me) that never reached the newsgroup.
>> I have one friend who sends his messages in plain text. He doesn't mind
>> getting them in HTML. I have set my options to always send in HTML.
>> However, when I reply to some of his messages, my Compose screen shows
>> plain text.
>>
>> Any idea of why this happens?
>>
>> And how can I change the screen to HTML? (I tried SHIFT-REPLY, and it
>> didn't work.)
>
> What no one asked -- and what Jo-Anne never answered -- is:  What
> information could be conveyed by an HTML-formatted message that could
> not be conveyed by a plain text message?
>
Bold emphasized wording, a photo/image for clarification.   Yes I know you can post images on a server and post the link in text email but
that's oh so much over a lot of average pc users.

Al
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

J. P. Gilliver (John)-3
On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 at 01:42:34, Big Al <[hidden email]> wrote:

>On 7/1/20 10:50 PM, this is what David E. Ross wrote:
>> I am posting this comment here because I am sure it would not be
>> approved by the moderator for mozilla.support.thunderbird.
>>  Jo0-Anne posted the following in mozilla.support.thunderbird on the
>> morning of 30 June.  In less than 36 hours, this resulted in a thread
>> with 22 replies.  I know more replies were submitted (another on-topic
>> one by me) that never reached the newsgroup.
>>> I have one friend who sends his messages in plain text. He doesn't mind
>>> getting them in HTML. I have set my options to always send in HTML.
>>> However, when I reply to some of his messages, my Compose screen shows
>>> plain text.
>>>
>>> Any idea of why this happens?
>>>
>>> And how can I change the screen to HTML? (I tried SHIFT-REPLY, and it
>>> didn't work.)

Without seeing the 22 replies, I don't know if this has been said - but
"always send in HTML" may only apply to new messages; I think there's a
"get format for replies/followups from the message being replied to"
setting. Whether that overrides the "always" setting - or whether
there's another setting to say whether it should - I don't know.

How, sorry I don't know; Outlook has a Format switch. Starting a new
email may solve it, but that's tedious to do for replies.

Another thought: is there a per-person setting in the address book? My
email client has a setting in there for whether each recipient can
handle attachments in MIME or not - yours may have a plain/HTML setting?

>>  What no one asked -- and what Jo-Anne never answered -- is:  What
>> information could be conveyed by an HTML-formatted message that could
>> not be conveyed by a plain text message?

Probably because that's not part of the original question; HTML vs.
plain text wars are a different matter. It's like jumping into a
discussion of whether petrol or diesel cars are better, saying you
should use public transport (-:
>>
>Bold emphasized wording, a photo/image for clarification.   Yes I know
>you can post images on a server and post the link in text email but
>that's oh so much over a lot of average pc users.
>
>Al

Even using the old _underline_ *bold* /italic/ conventions is over a lot
of average (modern) users (-:
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

While no one was paying attention, weather reports became accurate and the
news became fiction. Did not see that coming. - Scott Adams, 2015
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

Wolf K.
On 2020-07-02 05:46, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
> On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 at 01:42:34, Big Al <[hidden email]> wrote:
>> On 7/1/20 10:50 PM, this is what David E. Ross wrote:
[...]

>>>  What no one asked -- and what Jo-Anne never answered -- is:  What
>>> information could be conveyed by an HTML-formatted message that could
>>> not be conveyed by a plain text message?
>
> Probably because that's not part of the original question; HTML vs.
> plain text wars are a different matter. It's like jumping into a
> discussion of whether petrol or diesel cars are better, saying you
> should use public transport (-:
>>>
>> Bold emphasized wording, a photo/image for clarification.   Yes I know
>> you can post images on a server and post the link in text email but
>> that's oh so much over a lot of average pc users.
>>
>> Al
>
> Even using the old _underline_ *bold* /italic/ conventions is over a lot
> of average (modern) users (-:

That's because it's really a  work-around/kluge to compensate for the
limitations of ASCII/ANSI glyph codes and early plain-text editors.


--
Wolf K
kirkwood40.blogspot.com
The universe is cleverer than we are. (Krauss)
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

Mayayana
In reply to this post by David E. Ross
"David E. Ross" <[hidden email]> wrote

| What no one asked -- and what Jo-Anne never answered -- is:  What
| information could be conveyed by an HTML-formatted message that could
| not be conveyed by a plain text message?
|

  Tomato-juice-and-asparagus-colored wallpaper.
  Pictures of kitties.
  Spyware web beacons.
  Formatting to make you think the email is from your bank.
  Comic Sans.
  0-day email attacks.

    HTML is much better than plain text. :)

   I wonder if the OP knew whether or nor her friend
was seeing the emails in HTML.

    I disable HTML email and have done so since maybe
2000. Most emails are multi-part by default, with a text
portion if it's HTML. If people want to use HTML then
the polite thing is what Jo-Anne was inadvertently doing:
respond in kind. But I expect most people these days
won't see it that way. Most people are using webmail.

    HTML email has become so ubiquitous that I'm getting
an increasing number that are faulty when viewed as text.
For instance, they send it multipart but the text section
has no line returns. (My doctor.) Or people who don't know
any better send an image as the entire email message. (An
assisted living center I deal with.) Or people forward me a
magazine article, but what I get is only perhaps a headline.

    And there are lots of
small businesses that use things like Constant Contact
spyware, not even sending their own email. CC promises
to provide a spyware report about when and how much
an email was read. But of course, that can only work with
webmail that's being read in a browser with script enabled.
CC gets away with their claim because that way of reading
is now the norm.


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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

David E. Ross
In reply to this post by J. P. Gilliver (John)-3
On 7/2/2020 2:46 AM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote [in part]:
> Even using the old _underline_ *bold* /italic/ conventions is over a lot
> of average (modern) users (-:

Interesting.  I saw your text actually underlined, bold, and Italicized
in your post.  When I quoted it for this reply, however, the markups
appeared instead of the effects.

The reason I wanted to reply is to ask a question.  Are these markups
peculiar to Thunderbird?  Or is there a formal convention (perhaps an
RFC) specifying them?

I have known about these markups for years, but I rarely need them to
convey the information I am sending.

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Trump claims he is the "law and order" President.  Then, he
breaks the law by using copyrighted music at his rallies
without permission from the copyright owners.
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

David E. Ross
On 7/2/2020 8:30 AM, David E. Ross wrote:

> On 7/2/2020 2:46 AM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote [in part]:
>> Even using the old _underline_ *bold* /italic/ conventions is over a lot
>> of average (modern) users (-:
>
> Interesting.  I saw your text actually underlined, bold, and Italicized
> in your post.  When I quoted it for this reply, however, the markups
> appeared instead of the effects.
>
> The reason I wanted to reply is to ask a question.  Are these markups
> peculiar to Thunderbird?  Or is there a formal convention (perhaps an
> RFC) specifying them?
>
> I have known about these markups for years, but I rarely need them to
> convey the information I am sending.
>

The markups appeared in my compose window, but I now see their effects
appear in my posted reply.

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Trump claims he is the "law and order" President.  Then, he
breaks the law by using copyrighted music at his rallies
without permission from the copyright owners.
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

Dave Royal
In reply to this post by David E. Ross
On 2 Jul 2020 08:30:43 -0700 David E. Ross wrote:

>[On 7/2/2020 2:46 AM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote [in part]:]
>
>Interesting.  I saw your text actually underlined, bold, and Italicized
>in your post.  When I quoted it for this reply, however, the markups
>appeared instead of the effects.
>
>The reason I wanted to reply is to ask a question.  Are these markups
>peculiar to Thunderbird?  Or is there a formal convention (perhaps an
>RFC) specifying them?
>
>I have known about these markups for years, but I rarely need them to
>convey the information I am sending.
>
Most (based on the three I use daily) email programs do not take any notice
of the italic/bold/underline markers in a plain-text email. The reader would
have to recognise the convention. All of them will linkify a URL beginning
http:

Two of them (both on mobile) will only generate an html mail.

All NNTP readers I use (apart from this one) - and I don't use TB for news -
do format text using those codes.
--
(Remove numerics from email address)

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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

J. P. Gilliver (John)-3
In reply to this post by David E. Ross
On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 at 11:25:06, David E. Ross <[hidden email]>
wrote:
>On 7/2/2020 8:30 AM, David E. Ross wrote:
>> On 7/2/2020 2:46 AM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote [in part]:
>>> Even using the old _underline_ *bold* /italic/ conventions is over a lot
>>> of average (modern) users (-:
>>
>> Interesting.  I saw your text actually underlined, bold, and Italicized
>> in your post.  When I quoted it for this reply, however, the markups
>> appeared instead of the effects.

Your email/news software obviously knows about them. I typed them in
plain text.
>>
>> The reason I wanted to reply is to ask a question.  Are these markups
>> peculiar to Thunderbird?  Or is there a formal convention (perhaps an
>> RFC) specifying them?

I don't know if there's an RFC, but quite a lot of clients know about
them (or did); even Microsoft Word and Outlook _sometimes_ react to
them, though in their own quirky ways (such as implementing a format
change but leaving the characters visible too).
>>
>> I have known about these markups for years, but I rarely need them to
>> convey the information I am sending.
>>
I use the leading and trailing underline character for emphasis and/or
delineation quite a lot (like the "sometimes" above); I rarely use the
slash or asterisk.
>
>The markups appeared in my compose window, but I now see their effects
>appear in my posted reply.
>
(-: :-) [Does one of those appear as a smiley emoticon in your software?
I'm typing them as three characters. I doubt the left one will, as it's
left-handed, as I am.]
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

The motto of the Royal Society is: 'Take nobody's word for it'. Scepticism has
value. - Brian Cox, RT 2015/3/14-20
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

J. P. Gilliver (John)-3
In reply to this post by Mayayana
On Thu, 2 Jul 2020 at 09:20:12, Mayayana <[hidden email]>
wrote:
[]
>    HTML email has become so ubiquitous that I'm getting
>an increasing number that are faulty when viewed as text.
>For instance, they send it multipart but the text section
>has no line returns. (My doctor.) Or people who don't know
>any better send an image as the entire email message. (An
>assisted living center I deal with.) Or people forward me a
>magazine article, but what I get is only perhaps a headline.

An increasing number of _companies_ are sending two-part emails (plain
text and HTML) but do not know they are doing so. Not too long ago, I
was getting emails from FindMyPast - a genealogy company, I think almost
as big as Ancestry - offering me the same special offers, increasingly
out of date (i. e. its expiry date was well before they sent it); I was
getting increasingly little helpful response from their support, who of
course said the fault was at my end, until one day I happened to look at
the HTML part (I default to reading the text part). On examining several
old emails from them, I discovered that their system had thrown a
wobbly: some months before, it had fixed the content of the plain text
part, and was only changing the HTML part (with details of new offers
etc.).

>
>    And there are lots of
>small businesses that use things like Constant Contact
>spyware, not even sending their own email. CC promises
>to provide a spyware report about when and how much
>an email was read. But of course, that can only work with
>webmail that's being read in a browser with script enabled.
>CC gets away with their claim because that way of reading
>is now the norm.
>
Or "web beacons" and the like. Which don't work with me because even if
I do read the HTML part, I don't get online content. (Mainly, I think,
because when my client was initially written, dialup was still common,
rather than for any security reason. But anyway, it only parses the
rendering aspects of HTML [and often those not well], so it's pretty
safe!)
>
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

The motto of the Royal Society is: 'Take nobody's word for it'. Scepticism has
value. - Brian Cox, RT 2015/3/14-20
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

David E. Ross
In reply to this post by J. P. Gilliver (John)-3
On 7/2/2020 4:21 PM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
> (-: :-) [Does one of those appear as a smiley emoticon in your software?
> I'm typing them as three characters. I doubt the left one will, as it's
> left-handed, as I am.]

In your reply, the first one: NO.  The second one: Yes.  Apparently,
Thunderbird does not recognize left-parenthesis, hyphen, colon.  It does
recognize smileys with the parenthesis on the right end.

--
David E. Ross
<http://www.rossde.com/>

Trump claims he is the "law and order" President.  Then, he
breaks the law by using copyrighted music at his rallies
without permission from the copyright owners.
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

EnDeeGee-3
On 02-Jul-2020 22:25, David E. Ross wrote:
> On 7/2/2020 4:21 PM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
>> (-: :-) [Does one of those appear as a smiley emoticon in your software?
>> I'm typing them as three characters. I doubt the left one will, as it's
>> left-handed, as I am.]
>
> In your reply, the first one: NO.  The second one: Yes.  Apparently,
> Thunderbird does not recognize left-parenthesis, hyphen, colon.  It does
> recognize smileys with the parenthesis on the right end.
>

That's where parenthesis should be "on the right".

http://www.emoticonr.com/emoticons

https://preview.tinyurl.com/y8dt7bdf
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

J. P. Gilliver (John)-3
On Fri, 3 Jul 2020 at 07:47:30, EnDeeGee <[hidden email]>
wrote:

>On 02-Jul-2020 22:25, David E. Ross wrote:
>> On 7/2/2020 4:21 PM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
>>> (-: :-) [Does one of those appear as a smiley emoticon in your software?
>>> I'm typing them as three characters. I doubt the left one will, as it's
>>> left-handed, as I am.]
>>
>> In your reply, the first one: NO.  The second one: Yes.  Apparently,
>> Thunderbird does not recognize left-parenthesis, hyphen, colon.  It does
>> recognize smileys with the parenthesis on the right end.
>>
>
>That's where parenthesis should be "on the right".

Sez who?
>
>http://www.emoticonr.com/emoticons

Humph. That just _shows_ them with the mouth on the right, doesn't
actually give any _justification_. Rightist world :-)
>
>https://preview.tinyurl.com/y8dt7bdf

First time I've seen a tinyurl longer than what it redirects to (-:!
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)Ar@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

I reckon in a few years we'll have GoogleBum. You'll type in someone's name
and it will show you what their bum looks like. Even if they've never posted a
nude picture, it will reconstruct their bum from bits of their face and leg
and whatever else they can find. - Charlie Brooker, RT 2014/12/13-19
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Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

Ken Whiton
In reply to this post by David E. Ross
*-* On Thu, 2 Jul 2020, at 19:25:23 -0700,
*-* In Article <[hidden email]>,
*-* David E. Ross wrote
*-* About Re: HTML-Formatted E-mail

> On 7/2/2020 4:21 PM, J. P. Gilliver (John) wrote:
>> (-: :-) [Does one of those appear as a smiley emoticon in your
>> software? I'm typing them as three characters. I doubt the left
>> one will, as it's left-handed, as I am.]

> In your reply, the first one: NO.  The second one: Yes.  Apparently,
> Thunderbird does not recognize left-parenthesis, hyphen, colon.  It
> does recognize smileys with the parenthesis on the right end.

     As of ten years ago Thunderbird supported graphic display of 21
different plain-text smileys, with an option to turn off that support.

<http://kb.mozillazine.org/Thunderbird_:_FAQs_:_Viewing_Headers#Plain_text>
(or <https://preview.tinyurl.com/ydfc9c2y>)

                                        Ken Whiton
--
    FIDO: 1:132/152
InterNet: [hidden email] (remove the obvious to reply)
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