HTML by default in KMail

Yuval Levy ubuntu08 at
Sun Aug 8 05:57:41 BST 2010

On August 7, 2010 02:24:28 am Tres Finocchiaro wrote:
> From a user's perspective, I find it very (very) naive to rule out all html
> formatting by default.

from that same perspective, I beg to differ.

> Red letters and bold fonts can go a long way when getting a message across.

sure: distract from content to formatting.  obstruct accessibility for the 
color blind.  prevent speed-reading.

using *simple* _formatting_ ist most efficient for getting a message across, and 
if something more graphic is required, attach it.

> I feel too often that stripping features in the name of security can only
> go so far.  There needs to be a middle ground where we aren't all typing
> in gedit (or in this case, kate).

I don't feel that this is "stripping" in the name of security (although I 
appreciate the benefit of not having to worry about malicious or simply 
resource-wasting payloads).

In fact, AFAIK HTML has been *added* to email by a vendor with the  "adopt 
extend destroy" strategy; and indeed this "extension" has contributed to the 
destruction of email by spam and malaware.

Users read faster a text that is written in a familiar font and displayed in 
familiar colors.  Consequence: don't let sender change my display font with 
HTML (or any other kind of formatting markups).  Let the user determine how 
content is displayed on their screen.

Those who researched speed-reading and studied/applied the techniques will 
tell you that fixed-width font is better than variable-width font.  Why not 
using a fixed-width font by default?

For enough users, color is not a choice.  whether they are color-blind or they 
otherwise need high-contrast or low-contrast environments, HTML is a nightmare 
for them.

My 2 cents go for keeping email text-based.  For the rest, there is 
GoogleWave, and there are attachments.


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