[Tagging] [OSM-talk-be] mailing list good practice (user's and software's)

André Pirard A.Pirard.Papou at gmail.com
Thu Sep 19 21:54:29 UTC 2013

On 2013-09-17 05:29, Marc Gemis wrote :
> André,
> in digest mode, your mails are replaced by a link to the html content.
> In non-digest mode your mails appear fine.
> The result is that I never read your mails on the tagging mailing list
> that I follow i digest mode. It's just "too much work" to open an
> additional page to see whether it's interesting enough to read.
Hi Marc,

Thanks for your report, but that's strange.
I always send my e-mails to the list in both text and html formats
(alternative in the same e-mail), so that everybody should be pleased. 
But they're not!
The text mode is (almost) perfectly readable on the archive server
also containing a link to the html version that they call an attachment
(they seem not to understand the word "alternative").
Of course, the tables that we sometimes need to send are pure garbage in
text mode.

I explained how I'm using a Gmail account as a perfect mailing list
I also use the filters of Gmail as a perfect e-mail redistributor, like
a manually maintained mailing list, the only problem is that the number
of recipients is limited.

Definitely, that mailman is the most antediluvian and frustrating
software there is. A conspirator.

Please file a bug and ask them to work as well as Gmail and to implement
simple HTML filtering.

followed below ...

(1) archive server
lists.openstreetmap.org/pipermail/talk-be/2013-September/004552.html for
those who prefer not to click

On 2013-09-17 13:23, ael wrote :
> On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 01:02:23AM +0200, André Pirard wrote:
>> On 2013-09-16 11:52, Glenn Plas wrote :
>>> If you want to be serious about this then a new topic should be
>>> initiated by sending a new mail instead of a reply with a new
>>> subject.  Every decent mailclient out there -usually- does not use the
>>> subject to 'thread' mails. instead it uses certain fields in the mail
>>> headers.  I noticed that mail-man (the mailing list handler of THIS
>>> list) does not seem to add those headers (in fact, they seem to be
>>> removed from outgoing mails, I cannot find those fields like below).
>> You're right, [but] my main gripe is against the mailing list software mailman
>> itself because it does not allow HTML.
> Please, please no. HTML should only be in an attachment if and only if
> it cannot be avoided. Apart from bloat, it is a security risk. Email != 
> Content-Type: multipart/mixed; boundary="===============1107514545383645585=="
> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
> --===============1107514545383645585==
> Content-Type: *multipart/alternative*;
>  boundary="------------060707090800060503050609"
> This is a multi-part message in MIME format.
> --------------060707090800060503050609
> Content-Type: *text/plain*; charset=UTF-8
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
> ....
> --------------060707090800060503050609
> Content-Type: *text/html*; charset=UTF-8
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
> ............
> --------------060707090800060503050609--
Can't you see that word *alternative***?  *You can choose***!!!
If you prefer to use text, please do, but do not prevent those who
understood HTML to use it!!!

Security:  correction: the security risk is Windows and similar software.
Read it: what I advocate is "simple html" for which there is absolutely
no security risk.
Those who launch a full browser, and especially an unsafe one running
Javascript and, worse, Activethings, to display *any html* e-mail take
as much risk as when displaying a Web page.
Using simple html or filtering e-mail to obtain simple html as I
suggested or interpreting only the simple part of html is perfectly
safe, especially on a virus resistant system like Linux or OS X.
Some may remember the RTF (rich text format) specification that people
that you may want to call crazy have used in e-mail before html existed
to allow what I advocate, for example writing a letter in e-mail.  No
one ever spoke of risk before RTF was abandoned and HTML deviated.
The mad thing is this (just an example):

X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.2900.3138

<BODY text=3D#000000 bgColor=3D#ffffff>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Monsieur ... </FONT></DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2></FONT> </DIV>
<DIV><FONT face=3DArial size=3D2>Je vous rappelle ...</FONT></DIV>

a s o for more than 50 lines,
switching to the same font font for every paragraph, even empty ones.
And Apple Mail is even worse.

They ignore the philosophy of simple HTML that is to use no font, just a
size number, no line width, the user adjusts to his convenience, etc...
Now here's Thunderbird doing more complicated:


And here's an OSM simple HTML page speaking:

      <li><a href="http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle?uselang=fr <view-source:http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle?uselang=fr>">bicycle</a> = yes</li>
      <li><a href="http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:foot?uselang=fr <view-source:http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:foot?uselang=fr>">foot</a> = designated</li>

that you can perfectly copy&paste like this (only for those who prefer):

        Balises :

  * bicycle <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:bicycle?uselang=fr>
    = yes
  * foot <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:foot?uselang=fr> =
  * highway
    <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FR:Key:highway?uselang=fr> =
    path <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:highway=path?uselang=fr>
  * horse <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:horse?uselang=fr> = yes
  * incline <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:incline?uselang=fr>
    = down
  * name <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FR:Key:name?uselang=fr> =
    Chemin des Boûfs
  * sac_scale
    <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FR:Key:sac%20scale?uselang=fr> =
  * source <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:source?uselang=fr> = Bing
  * surface
    <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/FR:Key:surface?uselang=fr> = ground
  * width <http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Key:width?uselang=fr> = 2

Do you really think there's a security risk when decoding such kind of things?

If people were transferring simple HTML Web pages to e-mail and
archiving them in IMAP servers instead of printing them, we would have
made a big step towards saving paper, the forest and the planet of our
Same with most usages of PDF.



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