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Re: [Pan-users] Re: Can post, but cannot reply

From: Steven D'Aprano
Subject: Re: [Pan-users] Re: Can post, but cannot reply
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2008 08:58:07 +1100
User-agent: KMail/1.9.6

On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 07:56:52 am Duncan wrote:
> Please can the HTML.  There's a reason (security, respect for those
> who have plain text clients) pan doesn't do HTML.

That's a bogus argument. The poster's message contained a perfectly 
valid, readable, secure plain text message attachment. If he was 
sending HTML mail without a plain text body, then I would agree with 
your criticism 100%. But that's not what happened. He did the right 
thing: plain text for those who don't trust Yahoo or have a plain text 
client, and HTML for those who want the "Rich Text experience".

If Pan doesn't want to render the HTML attachment as HTML (a wise 
choice) there's no reason for it to run the plain text message and the 
HTML message together. That's just crazy, and it suggests either lousy 
programming or dumb insolence. Since Charles isn't a lousy programmer, 
I'm going with dumb insolence: rather than doing the right thing, he's 
chosen to deliberately be inconvenient for people who send HTML mail.

Except it's actually inconvenient for *everyone*, and makes Pan look 

If Pan is not going to render the HTML (as I said, a wise choice) then 
the right thing to do is to treat it like any other attachment it 
doesn't render. It didn't take me long to find a message on another 
newsgroup with this:

Attachment not shown: MIME type application/x-pkcs7-signature; filename 

Why does Pan not do this?

Attachment not shown: MIME type text/html; filename <unnamed>

The KDE newsreader, knode, does the right thing. It's time Pan entered 
the 1990s and did too.

Duncan, it's time for you to move on. This battle was lost ten years 
ago. In the absence of a widely supported "Rich Text" format for email 
without the disadvantages of HTML, complaining about HTML attachments 
when the email includes a perfectly valid plain text body is like one 
of those curmudgeonly old men complaining about those young 
whipper-snappers and their "Walkmen". 


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