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Old 08-08-2010, 06:20 AM
Tres Finocchiaro
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

@Yuv,
*this "extension" has contributed to the

destruction of email by spam and malaware.



I think I speak for most email users by saying, yes, HTML formatted emails have gotten out of hand. *Not only from spam and malware, but also from my*religious*aunt Peggy. *On the flip side however, email stands for "Electronic Mail". *If normal mail allows aunt Peggy to send a customized Jesus letter head, why shouldn't she expect the same from an electronic version?

Some countries actually have communication acts that make it unlawful for translators to strip emotion or content from conversation. *I know the US Postal Office wouldn't allow the modification of a message. *Fortunately email isn't yet regulated to that level in my country so Gmail will block those "tracker" images that were mentioned earlier in the conversation.


For enough users, color is not a choice. *whether they are color-blind or they
otherwise need high-contrast or low-contrast environments, HTML is a nightmare
for them.
Replace the word "enough" with "the vast majority" and then you have an argument. *Until then, (respectively) please use the command-line pine application. *(Which is NOT included in Kubuntu by default). *Rich text is no longer an optional feature, its how people communicate. *If stripping some tags improves security and/or usability then the*arguments*are founded, but to rid of it completely is naive and WILL cause end-users to stop using the product, as I've illustrated in the previous email with poor Kopete defaults.


In regards to speed-reading fixed-font emails, you may be correct. *I don't even know how to speed-read, but I'd like to add that I'm reading your email in Gmail's default Sans Serif variable width font without any issues.

-Tres*
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:25 AM
Mackenzie Morgan
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

On Sunday, August 08, 2010 02:20:42 am Tres Finocchiaro wrote:
> Fortunately
> email isn't yet regulated to that level in my country so Gmail will block
> those "tracker" images that were mentioned earlier in the conversation.

The tracking I mentioned earlier was nothing to do with countries and
regulation. It was about spammers trying to see who is gullible enough to
open their crap. However, it has been pointed out that HTML email and loading
remote files are two *separate* options, so my concern is void.

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Old 08-08-2010, 04:39 PM
Markus Slopianka
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

On Friday 06 August 2010 18:59:53 Scott Kitterman wrote:
> Upon
> reflection I think the
more important concern with HTML is probably URL
> obfuscation and users going to sites
that are not the ones they expect.

Even old Thunderbird versions had basic phishing
protection by warning the user if the actual URL varies from the displayed one.
Wouldn't
be surprised if TB's code is so simple, it could even be copied and pasted into KMail's
code...

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Old 08-09-2010, 01:47 AM
Yuval Levy
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

On August 8, 2010 01:22:33 am Jussi Schultink wrote:
> > using *simple* _formatting_ ist most efficient for getting a message
> > across, and if something more graphic is required, attach it.
>
> No, it isnt IMHO. This is just like having a conversation, different
> people use different words, but also different tones of voice, and
> different volume levels. Formating your text and adding markers to
> convey tones, or emphasis is a good thing.

I never said it was a bad *thing*. I only said HTML formatting was a bad
*default*. This discussion is about defaults, not about limiting options. If
you want you can already now go and change the default to HTML formatting in
Kmail.

A smart solution that was suggest by somebody previously in this thread is to
let the user compose and then send the message in the minimum format necessary
to display the message, i.e. if the user uses color etc, send as HTML; if the
user does not use the formatting bells and whistles, send as plain text.

Personally I find there are more important problems to solve with Kmail / KDE
than fiddle with the defaults, but who am I to direct other developers in
choosing how they want to spend their time?


> As I mentioned with the conversation example, the ability to convey
> more than just words is a good thing. Each person has a different
> style and by not allowing the ability for the sender to decide which
> style they send removes a big amount of what the sender is conveying.

I don't disagree with you and I did not promote limiting the sender's ability.
The sender can change the settings from the default if the default does not
suit them. The sender can decide which strings they want to pull to *try* to
convey their message. In the end it is the receiver who rules. It is the
receiver who determines if the communication was successful or not. As former
German chancellor Helmut Schmidt once said: "if I want to sell you an idea,
I'll speak in your language. Aber wenn Sie mir was verkaufen wollen, müssen
Sie Deutsch reden.


> We cannot please everyone here, and I mean that seriously. We have
> choices in Linux, users can customize to their choice. We need to look
> out and think about the most sane defaults, with the majority of users
> in mind.

Sure, I understand your argument. The basic of Open Source is to please
yourself. Scratch your own itches. This thread was initiated by somebody who
had an itch to find out opinions about the default email format for the next
Kubuntu version. There have been plenty of interesting and valid perspectives
expressed. Initially I did not even bother to express my opinion. I don't
have the bandwidth to contribute to KDE, I'm just a thankful user and I
contribute to other Open Source projects. I decided to jump in when somebody
claimed to speak for the majority of users. All I stated is that he does not
speak for me. I have strong doubts about his competence on the subject matter
all together.


> 2 euro cents from me.

at the current exchange rate they are sure worth more than my 2 Canadian cents
;-)

http://panospace.wordpress.com/2010/06/14/poetry-in-the-fourth-dimension/

Yuv
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:52 AM
Tres Finocchiaro
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

> I have strong doubts about his competence on the subject matter all together.

Lets not move to personal attacks.* They are irrelevant and will only cause a flame war.* If you'd like to weigh competence in support of argument, please take it outside of this conversation.* Its clear we all have strong opinions on this subject and that comes from varying experiences.


-Tres

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:09 AM
Mackenzie Morgan
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

On Sunday, August 08, 2010 09:47:29 pm Yuval Levy wrote:
> On August 8, 2010 01:22:33 am Jussi Schultink wrote:
> > > using *simple* _formatting_ ist most efficient for getting a message
> > > across, and if something more graphic is required, attach it.
> >
> > No, it isnt IMHO. This is just like having a conversation, different
> > people use different words, but also different tones of voice, and
> > different volume levels. Formating your text and adding markers to
> > convey tones, or emphasis is a good thing.
>
> I never said it was a bad *thing*. I only said HTML formatting was a bad
> *default*. This discussion is about defaults, not about limiting options.
> If you want you can already now go and change the default to HTML
> formatting in Kmail.

Uh, isn't this a discussion about the default for *viewing* emails that you
*receive*?

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:43 AM
Yuval Levy
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

On August 8, 2010 10:52:17 pm Tres Finocchiaro wrote:
> Lets not move to personal attacks.

nothing personal. I did not want to react to your statements which IMHO were
rather off topic, but since you seem to need proof that this is not personal:


> email stands for
> "Electronic Mail". If normal mail allows aunt Peggy to send a customized
> Jesus letter head, why shouldn't she expect the same from an electronic
> version?

normal mail allows aunt Peggy to write a postcard, in plain text, visible to
everybody. It allows aunt Peggy to put many sheets of paper in an envelope,
and the exterior of the envelope is in plain text. And it even allows her to
put a cake in a box. And the exterior of the box is in plain text. Those
things inside the envelope and the box are called *attachments" in email.


> Replace the word "enough" with "the vast majority" and then you have an
> argument. Until then, (respectively) please use the command-line pine
> application. (Which is NOT included in Kubuntu by default). Rich text is
> no longer an optional feature, its how people communicate.

on which planet do you live? the "vast majority" of people still communicates
first and foremost by voice. Even text messaging (which has no formatting at
all and is limited to 140 characters) is more popular than "Rich text".
Whatever "rich" stands for. Twitter rules.


> In regards to speed-reading fixed-font emails, you may be correct. I don't
> even know how to speed-read, but I'd like to add that I'm reading your
> email in Gmail's default Sans Serif variable width font without any
> issues.

I'm reading your email in Kmail. Text only. Configured the font to Monospace
(fixed width) instead of the default whatever reduces the time it takes me to
read it by roughly 20%. That's not an issue, it's a feature. The average
native speaker of a European language will read around 250-300 words per
minute. With these settings I get to 500-550 in English, and it is my fifth
language. I could go at full length explaining the how and why of these
things, and refer to the relevant body of research, but I feel this has been
already gone off-topic enough.

But the best is:

> Some countries actually have communication acts that make it unlawful for
> translators to strip emotion or content from conversation. I know the US
> Postal Office wouldn't allow the modification of a message. Fortunately
> email isn't yet regulated to that level in my country so Gmail will block
> those "tracker" images that were mentioned earlier in the conversation.

what's the relevance of the above paragraph to the choice of default
formatting for Kmail? an what's the relationship with web bugs?

no, there is nothing personal in my doubts about your competence. I find it
arrogant how you portray yourself as representing the vast majority of users.

Yuv
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:37 AM
"Emanuel Sprung"
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

Am 09.08.2010, 05:09 Uhr, schrieb Mackenzie Morgan <macoafi@gmail.com>:

> On Sunday, August 08, 2010 09:47:29 pm Yuval Levy wrote:
>> On August 8, 2010 01:22:33 am Jussi Schultink wrote:
>> > > using *simple* _formatting_ ist most efficient for getting a message
>> > > across, and if something more graphic is required, attach it.
>> >
>> > No, it isnt IMHO. This is just like having a conversation, different
>> > people use different words, but also different tones of voice, and
>> > different volume levels. Formating your text and adding markers to
>> > convey tones, or emphasis is a good thing.
>>
>> I never said it was a bad *thing*. I only said HTML formatting was a
>> bad
>> *default*. This discussion is about defaults, not about limiting
>> options.
>> If you want you can already now go and change the default to HTML
>> formatting in Kmail.
>
> Uh, isn't this a discussion about the default for *viewing* emails that
> you
> *receive*?
>

My approach after reading this discussion would be the following:

Let be text email the default in the initial settings of Kmail. It's safe
from the beginning.

Then, either let there be a "configure" dialog, if the user opens Kmail
the first time,
which shows the user the options of the Mail format.

Or the other method could be an "Option-Bar" which appears if the user
receives when he clicks on a HTML-Mail first (Firefox "Remember Password"
alike). On the Option-Bar, the user
gets buttons: "Show always HTML-Mails" "Show never HTML-Mails" "Leave it
like it is, don't ask me again" and "I'm not sure, what's what?"

The same thing could be applied to the "Create Mail" thing.

Just my 2 cent.

Emanuel

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Old 08-09-2010, 08:42 AM
Jussi Schultink
 
Default HTML by default in KMail

2010/8/9 Aurélien Gâteau <aurelien.gateau@canonical.com>:
> On 06/08/2010 12:28, Jonathan Riddell wrote:
>>
>> At Akademy I queried the current and past KMail maintainers about HTML
>> by default in e-mails. *They seemed to agree that it was a bit old
>> fashioned to be keeping it off and agreed it would be fine to turn it
>> on by default (in Kubuntu and upstream). *It seems unfriendly to me to
>> show a message with most e-mails that the programme is hiding
>> something from the user.
>>
>> KMail has large warnings in it's config box about security problems
>> that might magically appear. *I can imagine it would help with
>> phishing. *I could also imagine javascript security problems, although
>> I'd hope javascript isn't allowed in Kmail e-mails I could be wrong.
>
> Turning HTML on for *displaying* email is something I have done every
> time I introduced someone to KMail. If this option is not on then KMail
> is perceived as less powerful than their previous email client.
> Therefore I too believe HTML should be by default for *displaying*
> emails, as long as loading of external references is disabled. With this
> configuration KMail shouldn't end up being more vulnerable than
> Evolution, Thunderbird or any web mail.
>
> What does showing email in plain text protects you from?
>
> It does not protect you from the rogue links of a phish email (ie
> something like <a href="http://evil.com">google.com</a>): you can't
> expect someone trying to abuse you with rogue links to provide a
> plain-text version with readable nasty links.
>
> It does not protect you against spam messages phoning home to confirm
> your email address is valid. You are protected from this as long as the
> "Allow messages lo load external references from the Internet" option is
> unchecked.
>
> It does not protect you against messages containing nasty javascript:
> The viewer widget is explicitly created with disabled Javascript, Java
> and plugins options [1].
>
> It does protect you against rogue HTML which could exploit a security
> hole in your HTML renderer to execute rogue code on your machine. *But*
> it only protects you if you are able to detect the email is rogue from
> the information provided without reading the message content (ie, sender
> and subject).
> This kind of attack requires much more technical skills than phishing
> (which only requires social skills) and is much less likely to work in a
> cross-email client way, so I assume it's not very widespread, if
> existing at all, as one would need to write a KMail-specific spam
> message for it to work (but IANASE, I Am Not A Security Expert )
>
I agree 100% with Aurélien here, and his arguments are what I would
have said, if I was a little more eloquent

Jussi.
> Aurélien
>
> [1]:
> http://websvn.kde.org/branches/KDE/4.4/kdepim/messageviewer/viewer_p.cpp?view=markup
> , look for initHtmlWidget, line 1279 at the time of this writing.
>
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