HTML by default in KMail

Tres Finocchiaro fatbuttlarry at
Thu Aug 12 03:57:28 BST 2010

@Yuv:  Thanks, your explanations are great.

The only point I'd have to add is that legal is a black & white business.
Let me explain.
> I recently had the opportunity to consult a small law firm on

I've read quite a few legal documents and they are usually IN ALL CAPITALS
AND WITH SOME VERY LEGALLY CORRECT TERMS.  In this case, I agree.  I emailed
a license agreement today to legal actually.  It was fixed font.

So I step back and look at an email I sent to the purchasing department.  It
would be more efficient in fixed font too.

At work, I feel there are many arguments to strip all formatting.  I
completely agree.  Thanks for taking the time to explain.


On Wed, Aug 11, 2010 at 8:09 PM, Yuval Levy <ubuntu08 at> wrote:

> On August 10, 2010 03:39:58 am Aurélien Gâteau wrote:
> > That's the whole point of choosing good defaults. Trying to provide the
> > best setup out of the box for as much people as possible.
> "as much people as possible":  text is usable for everybody that likes
> html,
> but not the other way around.  So if the objective is "as much people as
> possible", the default should be text, not html.
> "best setup" is relative.  You are (knowingly or not) playing a trade-off
> between "as much people as possible" and "as visually attractive as
> possible".
> You may want to watch the following TEDtalk [0].  You are looking for the
> perfect Pepsi while you should be looking fro the perfect PepsiS (about
> 4:00
> into the talk).  Substitute software for food.  Clusters.  Embrace
> diversity.
> > Since we do
> > not have hundred of people running KDE in usability labs, we can only
> > guess what the best defaults are, based on our personal experience, on
> > how we see users use our products and on our intuition of what would be
> > best for them (and not necessarily for us, that's the hard part).
> Yes, the hard part is to see others' preferences and limitations.  And to
> see
> the consequences of such seemingly small decisions.
> Displaying HTML by default triggers a feedback loop:  the user will
> (wrongly)
> assume that HTML mail is readable by every recipient.  Worse:  the user
> will
> inevitably engage in bad practices.  Have you ever received a mail with "my
> replies in green between your blue lines"?  It makes you long for
> top-posting.
> > >> If this option is not on then KMail
> > >> is perceived as less powerful than their previous email client.
> > >
> > > Unknowledgeable consumers perceive digital cameras with higher
> megapixel
> > > count to be more powerful than models with lesser megapixel count.
> > > Experts know better.  Commercial interests cater to this misconception
> > > because it's easy and more profitable than educating consumers and
> > > offering them real value.
> >
> > We are not comparing a numeric value here.
> You were talking *user perception* here.  The analogy stands:  You claim
> that
> users *perceive* a mail client w/o HTML enabled by default as less
> powerful.
> I claim that users *perceive* digital cameras with less pixel count as less
> powerful.  The analogy is that both perceptions are wrong.
> The difference between the two cases is that a user buying lesser goods and
> believing they just got the best digital camera does not affect the general
> public.  A user who has the impression that HTML is the way to do mail will
> quote wrongly and mess up communication in many other ways.
> Having them click, at least once, to see the HTML, will make them aware
> that
> maybe not everybody can or want to read HTML.
> > We are discussing whether we
> > should keep a one-click barrier between the user and the content he
> > wants to access.
> You should not put barriers between the user and the content they want to
> access.  This applies equally to users who want to access the plain text
> content.  A simple solution is to complement the "click here to display the
> HTML" button with a "make this a permanent preference" checkbox.
> Yuv
> [0]
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