Re: HTML in Email

by "Darrell King" <darrell(at)>

 Date:  Wed, 10 May 2000 10:28:49 -0400
 To:  <hwg-techniques(at)>
 Cc:  "Rhonda Graham" <admin(at)>
 References:  edu nancy
  todo: View Thread, Original
>>>From Nancy: Personally I love html mail.  90% of the newsletters I get
are plain text, as the companies came out with html mail, I opted for it.
Simply because I get so much mail, I like to quickly glance at something,
and if something catches my eye then I read it. <<<<

I believe what we are experiencing here is the historic formation of the
World Wide Web.  Although the technologies will change before the Web leaves
its infancy (many years from now), the "direction" of those changes...the
formation of the motives that drive them...will be governed by debated such
as this.

Nancy made a point that some people are visually oriented.  This is true,
and so HTML email will persist and grow until something more efficient that
serves the same purpose arrives.  There are many who simply prefer
attractive displays filled with visual cues...they *like* it!

Someone else noted the increased bandwidth usage, and the point was made
that many email clients don't support HTML, and that content is what counts.
These are also valid points, and there is likely to be an ongoing section of
users that do not care for the flashy glitter of such things as HTML email.
People such as programmers and scientists and archivers who deal more with
knowledge management than with commercial profit might fit such catagories.
They *don't like* the visual effects...they only need the

Growth for services like HTML email will be driven by economics. If there
are people who want it, someone will figure out a way to provide it.  My
opinion is that it is a valid field for Web Developers, as is such things as
WAP and plain-text archiving.  They are all part of the glorious variety of
the Web...:).

On the other hand, there is also a non-commercial side to the Web.  This
side stretched back to the Early Days, when the Internet was used for
informational exchange, and format was less important than content.  There
is something intriguing about having to judge a person entirely on the
content of their communication, and also something valuable: I doubt we will
lose that side of the 'Net, either.

I think sometimes people tend to gravitate toward one of these extremes, as
though they were mutually exclusive.  Probably a waste of time, because both
the Commercial Web and the Information Internet are here to stay.


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