Newsreader format - plain text vs MIME - WLM

I have received a complaint from one poster on this newsgroup that my = posts=20 were difficult for him to read because they were formatted with MIME = rather=20 than plain text ASCII. He is using the nn/6.7.3 news client which = appears to=20 be an old UNIX application, and apparently there are plug-ins available = that=20 take care of the MIME content. Here is part of the header for my = messages:

MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; format=3Dflowed; charset=3D"Windows-1252"; reply-type=3Doriginal Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

This is due to the limitations of the Windows Live Mail application = which=20 has actually become worse after their 2011 "upgrade". I have discussed = it on=20 the Microsoft forum and some of the techs who responded agreed but=20 apparently very few of their application guys know or care about Usenet = and=20 the ancient traditions that still prevail.

Here is my explanation and his response:

Sorry if it makes it harder for you to read, but I'm not going to =


my > newsreader unless it causes problems for enough people that it becomes > necessary.

" Since the long-standing [1985] RFC standards for posts (850 & = successors),=20 and Best Practices all call for ASCII; thanks for letting me know you = don't=20 intend to correct your problem. I'll just add you to to my kill file."

Not a big deal. He has posted several times asking for help, but has not =

given much assistance to others AFAIK. And he was very unclear about the =

problem he presented. Also, I have seen many posts that were even in = HTML.=20 And certainly the content of many posts is a far greater problem IMHO.

So, does anyone else have problems reading my posts?

Thanks, and Happy GNU Year,


Reply to
P E Schoen
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Since you appear to mostly post plain English using standard 7 bit ASCII, why use MIME, when plain ASCII (in 80 column punched card format) is clearly enough.

MIME has its uses with other languages, hat are not representable with pure 7 bit US-ASCII.

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Your messages come through clearly for me.

If only one person has trouble reading your text, then I see no compelling reason to change your setup. As he pointed out, he can always put you in his kill file if he finds it too annoying.

As for the notion of adhering to a standard put forth in 1985 - well, time marches on. I wonder if he's still using 640K of RAM...

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Why use a virus prone mail app for nntp (or mail)? ...

What counts is shown above

Use a proper news agent application.


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The one I'm replying to has this in the header:

Subject: Newsreader format - plain text vs MIME - WLM Lines: 1 MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1"; reply-type=original Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

Ahh, the usual suspect. Nice to know that MS is consistent. ;-)

[snippy snip]

They look fine here, using Agent 6. Plain ASCII, a fixed-width font, and a line length of 72 characters make the least common denominator, of course, but in the end it's a minor issue. If a post is undecipherable (e.g., a huge "ASCII" art done with a proportional font) I just skip it. If it *does* happen to contain the Secrets of the Universe (tm) then maybe I'll take the time to puzzle it out...

Rich Webb     Norfolk, VA
Reply to
Rich Webb

no however, he is semi correct on that part.

HTML or related was introduced as an option of use. Most readers simply put a HTML object code in so that these can be dealt with. Most readers use the same code that is used in the Email process which also translates HTML code and so on.

You must remember that HTML is text too, it's just that not every one may be expected to translate hyper text. They'll see your post, but with all the added fluff.


Reply to

But you can view in monospace with Agent. The button with 'a' in a circle, left of the wrap button.

Ascii art? Too hard, particularly the line wrapped versions.


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Yeah, like ~500 lines of CSS rules in the header?


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