Responses to e-mail question -- NON-RP -- NON-RP -- NON-RP

From: Marshall Burns (
Date: Sat Oct 25 1997 - 21:27:56 EEST

Okay, folks. Here are the results of my little question to the RP-ML
about e-mail compatibility. (Original question posting reproduced at the
end of this message.)

Number of responses received (excluding duplicates): 49
Number of people responding: 44

    23: All typographical effects correctly represented
    3: Some typographical effects correctly represented
    6: No typographical effects (plain text only)
    5: Combination: Mail program gave one version in plain text
                and another with all effects
    5: Combination: Mail program gave one version in plain text
                and another with embedded HTML commands messing
                up the message
    1: Blind person who said mail program gave him one version
                in plain text and another in HTML, but I have no idea
                the results would have "looked" like to him! (Care to
    1: Did not say.
    It's interesting that no one reported the situation I used to have
before I switched from Pine to Netscape: that when I got mail with HTML
codes they were simply embedded and messed up the message, with no
separate clean version provided.
    In the cases where the person received two versions of the message,
this may have been because I selected the Netscape option to send the
message in both plain text and HTML. But then it is curious that so many
people (including myself) got only one version of the message.

    CONCLUSION: More than half of the people responding got all of the
intended effects, and everybody at least got the text of the message

    5: I got all effects as described.
    1: I got some of the effects as described. (I believe this was
    3: I got only plain text in that message.

    10: The original message showed with all effects correct.
    3: The original message showed with some effects correct.
    3: The original message showed plain text only.
    (When the original message is quoted with ">"s, my mail program
(Netscape) converts it all to one predetermined font. I can change the
font it's converted to, but I can't, as far as I know, turn off the
conversion. So no typographical effects can survive ">"-quoting here.)

    8: Netscape
    4: Eudora
    4: MS Exchange
    2: MS Outlook
    2: Pegasus
    2: AOL
    1 each: Novel Groupwise, SGI, MS Mail, cc:Mail, Pine, Quickmail.

    One final note of an interesting effect. There was one response in
which my quoted message had my e-address converted to an HTML mail-to
command (so you could click on it in the mail program to send mail to
me). This was only the case for my personal address (
and did not happen for the company address ( And this
only happened in one response.

    One just might draw the following highly scientific ( :) )
conclusion from all of this: You just never can tell what's going to
happen to your mail message once you send it out on the 'Net.

Best Regards,
Marshall Burns

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Marshall Burns wrote:

> Dear World,
> I am wondering about how universally compatible our e-mail system
> is.
> The following words are underlined, bold, italicized, large type,
> and green, respectively. I think my mail composer is accomplishing
> this by inserting HTML commands in this mail.
> I'd be interested in knowing if the effects described above come
> across for most people, and how this message looks when those effects
> do not work.
> Best Regards,
> Marshall Burns

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