Internet Tip of the Day

Do not send HTML emails. HTML emails are harder to read, larger, take longer to download, facilitate all kinds of viruses and security risks, are impolite, are mostly spam and deleted by many spam traps and can’t be read by all email clients. Be nice: Send plain text emails.

7 Reasons HTML Email is Evil

3 Replies to “Internet Tip of the Day”

  1. take longer to download

    What? Are you using a 28K baud modem?

    What mostly facilitates viruses are attachments, which come with plain text or HTML-encoded emails.

    And what specifically makes an HTML email impolite?

    And the only email clients that can’t read HTML encoded emails … well, those users should think about upgrading from Windows 3.11.

    Now what’s truly impolite are those people that forward around those “send this to 10 friends in 10 days or forever receive bad luck” emails.

    And what’s also impolite are people who don’t delete all the previous comments in a long a email reply thread.

    My take on it. Nothing inherently wrong with HTML email at all. And Google’s Gmail spam filters are a little smarter than to filter email simply because it’s HTML-based, it uses a more complex algorithm based on email contents, sender, originating SMTP server, etc.

  2. I hate HTML emails simply because the formatting gets in the way of the message. I also hate the standard quoting practises when replying to HTML emails.

    And don’t get me started with people who insist on using unreadable fonts and “My Little Pony” backgrounds making it even more unreadable.

    Most up to date email clients are pretty secure when it comes to HTML-embedded virii, but they certainly weren’t. HTML can include Javascript which has had several security holes in it, especially when sent to an HTML capable email client which didn’t (at the time) have the security that a browser would.

  3. Sure, I agree if people are using HTML emails with lame background images and stupid fonts and flashing text and marquees. But that goes without saying for anything, whether email or website.

    Google defaults to HTML email and I use the HTML simply for bolding or italicising text. Or if responding within someone’s message (because it’s very long), colouring my reply so that it’s easier to see.

    And wherease that article was accurate in 2000 when it was written … a lot of its points are no longer valid.

    But I don’t do any emailing outside of gmail anymore anyhow. I forward everything to one of my 8 gmail accounts, all of which are accessible from a single account, and I do everything from there, along with a tonne of filters to make life easier and more organized.

    I feel pretty safe and secure within the gmail environment.

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