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Title:Email is Text (a.k.a. "Mime Sucks")
Date:March 9th, 2004
Self Righteous:6
Simply true:8

Email is this nifty thing that was created to send messages around on the internet.

There are other ways to send information around, depending on the type of information and accessibility, such as the web (HTML), ftp, ICQ, P2P, etc..

How to send text email with:

Outlook 2007: Double click on my email address in contacts and change "Internet mail format" drop-down menu to "Send Plain Text Only"

Outlook 2003: Under the contact entry you have for my address, change the send as text/html from "Let Outlook Decide" to "Plain Text"

There are many ways to send and receive email, but much of the web seems confused about this. A few years ago, someone thought it would be neat if they could change the text formatting in their messages, and HTML mail was born. Unfortunately this requires that your email is read with a browser, and not everyone does this.

And then along came MIME, and MIME was a great way to attach files to your messages, but people were confused and started using MIME to send their messages, and this is not right.

We are forgetting what email is. It's a way to send messages across the net. We've lost track of that, and now we're seeing viruses show up in our email, something that doesn't even make sense if you consider that the purpose of email is communication.

I like to read my email with a very simple and fast email client. I am not alone. I have to parse well over 100 messages a day, and if I spend more than a minute on each message then suddenly I'm working many hours at a part-time job that I don't want.

And these days when I open my mailbox I am deluged with HTML mail and MIME mail in the form of UTF encodings, ISO character encodings, Microsoft Word documents (a proprietary format!), executables, vcards, etc..

This is nonsense.

A message is generally composed of words, and words are generally composed of characters (if you are using a language that is unlikely enough to require non-ASCII characters, then I can understand needing to use a special encoding, but that's not the case with English). If you want to send me a message, just type it.

And if your mail client wraps that up in HTML or some other encoding unnecessarily, then your mail client is broken. There's nothing wrong with my mail reader, it simply displays just the straight email text, as it should.

And there's a good chance I'm going to throw your email away. I don't care how important it is. Like I said, I get over 100 email a day, I'm not going to be sad to lose one of them that is going to make me jump through hoops to open it.

For more information, please read the following message:

Content-Type: application/octet-stream; name="Important_Message.html.z.uu"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64
Content-Disposition: inline; filename="Important_Message.html.z.uu"
Content-MD5: L4XviJ7RRsgeT6GgJP6wWQ==