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    • New note by bobjonkman 14 January 2023
      I seem to recall there's a standard API that should be common to all the #StatusNet derivitave servers. I'm pretty sure that in its infancy Mastodon conformed to that API. But Mastodon's API expanded beyond that, and I suspect some of the common API was removed, probably around the time #OStatus was dropped from Mastodon […]
    • New note by bobjonkman 14 January 2023
      Twidere has stopped working for Twitter accounts. My Mastodon account still works nicely. I thought maybe the Twidere API keys for the developer had been revoked, or that something had gone wrong with my phone (It's a vanilla Samsung with Android 12, but I've refused to install any of the Samsung or Google apps). I […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by heluecht 14 January 2023
      RT @heluecht !Friendica Admins As you might have heard, there are issues with the Twitter API. Several favourite clients stopped working, while others (still) do. By now there hadn't been any word if there is some massive Problem or if this was some deliberate action. Whatever is causing these issues, at least my connection still […]
    • Favorite 5 January 2023
      bobjonkman favorited something by lnxw48a1: https://imaginary.ca/blog/2017/06/16/top-hat/#more-231 [imaginary ca] I am glad this instructor thinks this way. Too many don't seem to care how badly a vendor's product affects students.
    • Favorite 5 January 2023
      bobjonkman favorited something by lnxw48a1: https://500ish.com/mastodon-brought-a-protocol-to-a-product-fight-ba9fda767c6a #Medium link; don't be surprised if it does weird things before showing you the article. "Mastodon brought a protocol to a product fight" > Yes, yes, the network is under immense strain as people flee the Elon strain infecting Twitter. But come on, there are folks who really believe […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by lnxw48a1 5 January 2023
      RT @lnxw48a1 https://500ish.com/mastodon-brought-a-protocol-to-a-product-fight-ba9fda767c6a #Medium link; don't be surprised if it does weird things before showing you the article. "Mastodon brought a protocol to a product fight" > Yes, yes, the network is under immense strain as people flee the Elon strain infecting Twitter. But come on, there are folks who really believe this is going […]
    • Favorite 5 January 2023
      bobjonkman favorited something by lnxw48a1: > For now, I’ll just say that while I fully understand why everyone wants Mastodon to be the new Twitter. Or the better Twitter. The more ideal Twitter. Or whatever. It’s just not going to happen. Mastodon brought a protocol to a product fight. Maybe Ivory or another client can […]
    • bobjonkman repeated a notice by clacke 4 January 2023
      RT @clacke NZ PM Jacinda Ardern called ACT leader David Seymour a prick on a hot mike in parliament. She apologized, he accepted, they had a laugh, and now together they've framed and signed a transcript of the exchange, selling it to the highest bidder, currently at 100 kNZD. The proceeds will go prostate cancer […]
    • Favorite 4 January 2023
      bobjonkman favorited something by clacke: NZ PM Jacinda Ardern called ACT leader David Seymour a prick on a hot mike in parliament.She apologized, he accepted, they had a laugh, and now together they've framed and signed a transcript of the exchange, selling it to the highest bidder, currently at 100 kNZD. The proceeds will go […]
    • New comment by bobjonkman 14 December 2022
      @lnxw48a1 "Pop" is also the Canadian word for carbonated soft drinks...

Why I’m an E-mail Luddite

Posted by Bob Jonkman on 2nd October 2013

Statue of a Luddite

Luddite Memorial, Liversedge

The pervasive expectation of HTML everywhere came to light in a recent e-mail exchange:

Him: Bob, have a look at this video: LOLcats at work

Me: Did you intend to send a link with that?

Him: Yes, here it is: LOLcats at work

Me: Sorry, still no link. Remember, I don’t receive HTML e-mail…

Him: Wut? I’ve never heard of someone not receiving HTML e-mail!

E-mail was never designed for HTML; it is intended to be a plain-text medium. HTML is merely cobbled on, and mail clients have no standard way to render HTML messages, resulting in different displays on different mail programs. Some mail programs, especially those run from the command line, can’t show HTML rendered messages at all.

Although I use a graphical mail client (Thunderbird), I choose to not display HTML for two reasons:

1) Security: HTML mail can have Javascript code or other objects embedded. That’s a great way to get virus infections on your computer. I don’t want any code running on my computer that I didn’t put there myself.

2) Privacy: HTML mail that links to external images allows the owner of those images to track your mail usage: When you open the mail, how often you open it, the location you open it at, what computer you’re using, and whether you forward it to others (and then, when they open the mail, how often, their location, &c).

Not to mention that HTML messages are far bigger than text messages, especially when the HTML contains embedded images, fonts, and other stuff. Now, that’s not such a big deal with fast connections, unlimited download caps, and cheap disk drives, but it will still make a difference on small-format devices like phones and watches.

That said, if you do send me HTML e-mail, be sure to embed any images or LOLcat videos. That way I can still view them as static attachments, without revealing when, where, and how often I view them.

For more info have a look at the Wikipedia article on HTML e-mail

–Bob.

You can send HTML e-mail to Bob Jonkman at bjonkman@sobac.com

The Luddite Memorial, Liversedge by Tim Green is used under a CC-BYCreative Commons — Attribution 2.0 Generic — CC BY 2.0 license.

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