Comments on: Email Netiquette - Part 2 https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/ Linux. GNU. Freedom. Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:29:15 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.0-alpha-42199 By: nah https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-122977 Thu, 10 Jan 2013 07:56:52 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-122977 I use gnus, which actually warns me if I have long lines. But I'm starting to think it might be just as well to use unbroken lines, because of mobile devices with small screens. Even the simplest of clients can reflow text in a received email so that it appears as max 80, but if you send pre-broken at 80 and the screen-width is max 40, you get these ugly linebreaks at all the wrong places.

OTOH, it might not matter much in a year or two, since small screens seem to be on their way out again, and even the smallest of phones are getting really high resolutions.

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By: David Chiles https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-115464 Tue, 01 Mar 2011 10:07:42 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-115464 Netiquette is very important.

For more information about netiquette, visit, http://www.networketiquette.net.

Everyone could use a little netiquette : )

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By: David Chiles https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111510 Fri, 05 Nov 2010 20:21:54 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111510 Netiquette is very important!

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By: Janne https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111343 Tue, 21 Sep 2010 07:54:59 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111343 But, Aaron, none of your recipients need you to reflow your text. You are helping nobody. Everyone of your recipients already reflow your text to a convenient width even if you don't insert line breaks. So you help nobody at all. The gain for you or any recipient of reflowing is zero. You are only adding a negative for a portion of your recipients without adding a positive for anybody.

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By: Aaron https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111340 Tue, 21 Sep 2010 00:21:34 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111340 I shouldn't be catering my email usage to the minority of users who might be using screen resolutions smaller than 80 characters. I should be composing my message that has the greatest impact on the largest number of users. And studies have shown that wrapped text between 60-90 characters improves readability, accuracy and comprehension. I'm not going to turn on flowed text, because maybe 1/100 of the people receiving my mail might be using a width smaller than 80 characters. That makes zero sense.

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By: Janne https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111339 Tue, 21 Sep 2010 00:13:22 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111339 (Trying with It's All Text, and editing with gedit. See if it linebreaks then)"Again though, unless people are on screen resolutions that are smaller than 80 characters [...]"Which, again is what some people have, and not because they are ornery but because they ahve no choice. They may use a featurephone that simply can't show 80 characters wide. They may have bad eyesight and need to zoom the text really big. And you, as the sender, is gaining nothign at all by setting those line breaks. Zero. The only effect is to make your emails hard to read for a minority of users. For no benefit at all.

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By: Aaron https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111326 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 13:44:21 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111326 @Janne- So, after running some SQL queries, the only users who are having a problem with the line breaks are Firefox 3.6.9 users on Ubuntu. Using any other Firefox version, a different browser, or a different operating system seems to not be affected. With that, I have been fixing comments, inserting line breaks in both yours, and others' comments, for this reason.

I don't know if it's WordPress to blame with that user agent string, or if there is a problem with Firefox 3.6.9 on Ubuntu. Definitely worth looking into, although I don't know if I'll get to it any time soon.

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By: Aaron https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111325 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 13:31:15 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111325 @Janne- Also, in regards to broken paragraphs, it seems to only be happening to a handful of comments. Many comments seem to be coming through just fine. I wonder if it has something to do with the browser being used? Check some of my Ramadan posts. Many people commenting without a problem of creating paragraphs with two line breaks.

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By: Aaron https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111324 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 13:22:27 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111324 @Janne- Well, it's not Mutt that is inserting the hard line breaks, but Vim, the editor of choice that I use to compose my messages.

:set tw=72

Again though, unless people are on screen resolutions that are smaller than 80 characters or they are intentionally manipulating the message to display the mail in a manner different than the sender intended.

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By: Janne https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111322 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 10:39:16 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111322 Aaron, then mutt is most certainly breaking email for people. Are you sure Mutt is actually inserting hard line breaks into the text stream it sends out, and not simply breaking lines for your benefit?

This is exactly the same as coding a web page for a specific screen width and character size. Fine for some users, breaks the page for others, for no discernible benefit on the part of the sender other than a mostly illusory sense of control.

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By: Blogging Tips for the DubLi Associate | Articlewrap.com https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111320 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 09:35:27 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111320 [...] Aaron Toponce : Email Netiquette – Part 2 [...]

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By: Aaron https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111317 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 08:23:46 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111317 @Janne- No, I am definitely implying that line breaks are inserted. For both Thunderbird and Mutt, which I use both heavily, when my line reaches 72 characters, it wraps. If the word passes the 72 character limit, then it wraps to the next line. So, some lines will be 72 characters wide, some 69, some 71, etc. all ending on the word that most closely reaches the 72 character wide limit.

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By: big package https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111316 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 05:10:08 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111316 If your IMAP server and your email client both support it, there are ways for the client to just get the email without the attachment. There are also IMAP extensions to get the server to convert the attachment between formats.

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By: Janne https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111314 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 02:03:39 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111314 Aaron, maybe I'm misunderstanding you. I read your post to mean that you recommend actually inserting line breaks around (somewhat before) 80 characters, so the paragraph is already wrapped by the sender when the recipient receives it. This of course breaks any email client that can't show at least 80 characters wide lines (such as small-screen clients on phones), and breaks it for any user that for whatever reason isn't able to read when characters are small enough to show 80 characters wide text.

No email client I have seen will insert line breaks; the few email I see that have hardcoded line breaks seem to have been generated by somebody using a separate editor or similar, then pasted the text into their client, linebreaks and all. But if you don't mean inserting line breaks, I'm not sure what you actually suggest.

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By: David https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111312 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 01:26:11 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111312 Okular is able to open xps files. I do my taxes on Windows, and unfortunately, can't save the receipt as pdf, but have to print to xps. Ironically, Vista's XPS viewer craps out whenever I try to open xps files. The only way for me to view them was to find an open viewer on Ubuntu that could open them. I'm still running Karmic, so maybe other viewers can open them now too.

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By: Aaron https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111311 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 00:56:34 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111311 @Janne- Specifying the width of your email doesn't break email for anyone. Gads, if that was the case, people would piss and moan all day about how horrible email is. Setting your email width to 20 characters wide, 200 characters wide, or just flowing wrapped lines, it never matters to the recipient. The ONLY issue is if their character width is less than the number of characters you set for your message. This only happens when the recipient has configured their client to behave in a manner other than the sender intended. If you configure your client to display mail other than what the original sender intended, of course stuff is going to break, and that's no one's fault but your own. It might also be a problem when using screen real estate smaller than the line width. Even then, I'm on a small Palm Centro, and 80 characters fits just fine.

Even when wrapping lines at 80 characters, that doesn't mean all my text is exactly 80 characters wide. It's left justified, not left AND right justified text. Not with monospace font. But then, when composing messages in plain text, the font doesn't matter, now does it?

In regards to broken paragraphs, it's been reported before. It's not intentional, and I'm working on a fix. Your patience is appreciated.

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By: Janne https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111310 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 00:15:02 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111310 And, by the way, why does your blog comment system not accept double-linefeeds to mark paragraphs, and why is there not a word warning submitters about it anywhere around the comment submission box?

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By: Janne https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111309 Mon, 20 Sep 2010 00:13:18 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111309 "Keep the width of your message under 80 characters."

Don't. You'll break your mail for a lot of people. Thing is, the 80 character limit is an artefact of text terminal display width. For readability, 80 characters is actually too long; around 60 characters is considered optimal (check a book, any book, and chances are it won't deviate much from that).

Today people read email with any different line widths. While few people will read much wider texts than 80 characters, many will read narrower. Anybody reading the email through a phone is going to have narrower (perhaps much narrower) lines. People with bad eyesight that pull the text size way up is going to have 40, 30 or even smaller lines.

If you insert line breaks where you happen to feel they belong then they make it impossible for the recipient to determine this for themselves. It is really, really annoying to get an email where the last word of each and every line overflows to the next one, where it sits all by itself. A secondary problem is if you write email using a monospaced typeface and the recipient is reading their email using a proportional one. Your lines will no longer be uniform in length, and again you'll have made things worse, not better.

You, as the sender, do not know - can not know - how your recipient is going to read your email. All you can do is make sure your text is formatted to make it as easy as possible for the recipient to do what they want. It's really like html in that way: you write what you want to say, and let the recipient decide about the details on how to display it. Attempts to micromanage the receiver (deciding that 80 columns is correct for them, or hardcoding column widths and font selection for html) will more than likely simply frustrate and annoy them, which is not what you presumably intended.

Instead, do not, whatever you do, insert line breaks yourself. Use line breaks only to separate paragraphs, nothing else. Every single mail client made in the past decade is perfectly able to reflow text to suit its user. Let them do their job.

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By: jdong https://pthree.org/2010/09/19/email-netiquette-part-2/#comment-111305 Sun, 19 Sep 2010 17:23:54 +0000 http://pthree.org/?p=1541#comment-111305 Not just Outlook is an offender -- Actually, K9 on Android I've found is a pretty bad offender at not line-wrapping at ANY number of characters, and even botching quoted replies to undo its line wrapping depending on the MIME type.

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