[sf-lug] Lists: plain text only please :-) [ugh: ("An HTML attachment was scrubbed...")]

Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
Thu Mar 26 05:30:41 PDT 2009

Lists: plain text only please :-) [ugh: ("An HTML attachment was  

Folks, please, ... it's generally much better for lists to just send
plain text - i.e. don't do, e.g., multipart alternative where both plain
text and HTML are sent - adds little value if any (and likely subtracts
some) to the list, adds annoying bits to the list, and takes up more
space on the listservers.  Some/many email clients (e.g. Microsoft
Outlook) may do so by default - one should almost always turn that
behavior off and just send plain text when sending to (or Ccing) lists
(ditto for Usenet).

How does one know if one's doing this?  Well, if the list postings (such
as in the archives and digest forms) have stuff that looks of a form like:

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

from one's postings, ... then one is likely "guilty" of such.
One can search the archives to see how frequently one has done so, e.g.
with a Google search such as using:
site:linuxmafia.com "An HTML attachment was scrubbed" "Michael Paoli"
                                                        ^your name here
One may get some false positives with such a search (on myself I found
10, where 9 were from folks other than me, and one didn't have such an
attachment, but discussed the issue and symptoms, etc.) ... but for some
folk(s) if I do that, I find counts in excess of 600 (e.g. they
apparently always send in both plain text and html.)  So, ... don't do
that.  :-)

After all,
also sending:
Hello,<br><br>Look at me.<br>Look at my text.<br>foo!<br>bar.<br>
really adds little to:

Look at me.
Look at my text.
... especially when many (most?) of us on the list will never look at
that generally highly redundant:
Hello,<br><br>Look at me.<br>Look at my text.<br>foo!<br>bar.<br>

> From: Michael Paoli Michael.Paoli at cal.berkeley.edu
> Subject: email, Reply-to:, lists, and all that jazz
> To: sf-lug at linuxmafia.com
> Date: Tue Apr 29 04:06:53 PDT 2008
> * It's probably better/best, in general, not to be sending email as
>   HTML to lists (or USENET).  At least certain email clients will
>   default to sending both HTML and text - in such cases for lists,
>   it's generally best to configure them to just use plain text when
>   sending to the list email address.  Also, for those of us that read
>   the list in digest form (which may be a quite sizeable percentage,
>   due to the list's relatively high volume), those "An HTML
>   attachment was scrubbed..." footers and URLs get rather annoying
>   after a while.  They also take up lots of space on the listserver,
>   and are probably, in most regards there, wasted space.  Are you
>   guilty?  Your email client might not be making this blatantly
>   obvious to you ... have a look at the list archives (not to pick on
>   anyone in particular, but just grabbing the most recent that's
>   there when I peek, have a look at the tail end of:
>   http://linuxmafia.com/pipermail/sf-lug/2008q2/004530.html
>   to see what I mean).  Not sure if it shows up quite that annoyingly
>   for those on the list that aren't subscribed in digest form.

Bcc: (not-so-random) frequent "offender" :->

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