The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, February 04, 2000

This is EMAIL, not FTP …

The consensus on the mailing list from yesturday about Reply-To: munging is that Reply-To: is The Right Thing. The list is back to the old behavior and everyone has stopped complaining.

The topic now (very light traffic on this) is the removal of HTML in email. Or rather, HTML and attachments altogether, which I am in full agreement with. Attachments are evil (heck, MIME is eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeevil but that's another rant); the worst I saw (when I worked at an ISP) was some guy who blew his disk quota by sending not only the files he was working on, but the application as well, so he could work on them from home.

The ISP allows 10M of disk space, which is quite generous for email (for the record, I currently have 14M of email saved (everything I write gets saved just in case) and it works out to 3,457 messages (or an average of 4k per message and yes, a lot of those can be deleted).

Anyway, one of the requests, from Peter Turnbull, was:


My request-for-enhancement is:

     ``do something'' about HTML, or better still, ``do something'' about
     any ``multipart/alternative'' posting (which would include M$
     richtext, with those application/ms-tnef attachments).

Options I can think of:

a) silently discard any such postings (probably not a good idea)
b) bounce them back to the author, with an explanation of why bounced
c) remove the non-text part
d) combination of (b) and (c)
e) accept, but warn the author (who may not realise (s)he's sent HTML)

Can't argue with those.

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