@sir "This information is used to hack your brain" - I liked that one!

@sir You forgot the best upside of plaintext email...

Never receive e-mails written in comic sans again.

They stopped it eventually, but 10 years ago Microsoft sent minified html and I could tell by the way lines ran together that they generated the plain text version by using a tag stripper on *that* 💩

I never recovered the courage to trust email providers to generate a clean text/plain message in multipart 😂😂😂

> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
> Q: Why is top posting frowned upon?
On the other hand, one advantage I can think of for top posting is that it puts the new and therefore salient information first.

@Hyolobrika this implies all information should be present, and it should not be. Old information is available for reference in your archives. Only quote the important parts of the previous message.

What do you mean?
One can still snip out irrelevant text either way.


one can, but then the inverted Q/A form becomes an issue


@Hyolobrika @sir One thing I'd consent to though is to not wrap at 80 columns, because wrapped text makes it awful when read by speech synthesis as used on screen readers.

I can't remember the last time I saw a work email which abides by this rule. Top posting seems to be the norm at least in academia, for better or worse. Deviating from that would probably just cause confusion.

@sir protonmail now offers a smtp bridge: protonmail.com/bridge/ I have only tried it with Apple Mail thus far, but I believe it should work with any other client.

@matias I recommend hydroxide by @emersion instead. Don't use proprietary software

@sir @emersion Got it, I wasn’t sure if hydroxide was recommended for being open source or for lack of first-party alternative. Thanks for clarifying.

@matias@tantor.online @sir@cmpwn.com I don't get it; why would they choose to release this as proprietary software, out of all things?

@distant @matias the obvious answer: Protonmail is a harmful company which works in their own self-interests and against yours

@sir@cmpwn.com @matias@tantor.online Any company that releases proprietary software can be summed up under that; I was just wondering why in particular they'd do so for this bit of their stack. It doesn't seem like it brings them any gain.

@sir I support plaintext email, but I don't get the hard wrapping at 72 chars. Surely you want to soft wrap at a comfortable width, rather than forcing users on thin screens to scroll or read a mess of combined hard-wrapping and soft-wrapping?

The LKML is unreadable on mobile due to the 72-char hard wrap.

I find it extra weird from programmers, because unconditionally wrapping at 72 chars breaks code.

@mort @sir I seconds this. I do not enjoy reading hard-wrapped emails on my phone at all, because every other line only fills a small portion of the screen.

@mort @sir There is format=flowed that tries to solve this problem by letting clients to reflow text how they want, but it isn't widely supported.

@sir Nice work, but let me ask one question:

Who is this page targeted to? People who use plaintext email or those who don't?

Because just by the way it's written I guess it's a lot more appealing to people who use plaintext emails anyway.

@sheogorath the former, as an instructional guide to fixing their client and a list of reasons to do so.

@sheogorath also to the authors of email-writing software, addressed near the bottom


»The few advantages they offer for end-users, such as links, inline images, and bold or italic text, aren't worth the trade-off.«

Sorry, but: not true.

@sir I had to google* that one. 😳

(*using ecosia, but still)

@sr_rolando@octodon.social @sir@cmpwn.com Why do you think this? Bold and italic text can be implemented just fine in plain-text clients, in-line images are a privacy risk, and links can be handled well with something that gracefully degrades, like markdown.

@distant @sir
But that's just a theoretical assumption, isn't it?

(Or are there any real life Markdown email clients out there?)

@sir the section here for roundcube here is incomplete and incorrect

on a provider i use that uses roundcube for webmail, bottomposting is default

top or bottom posting can be configured by setting [ Preferences -> Composing Messages -> When Replying ] to "start new message below the quote"

there is also an option to avoid quoting entirely

it also uses format=flowed by default (i see no way for it to be disabled)

@ky0ko can you send me an email so I can verify format=flowed is working correctly? It's often implemented wrong

@ky0ko ah, please send test emails with lines longer than 80 characters, otherwise format=flowed doesn't kick in. I should have mentioned that

@sir it appears roundcube truncates everything to fit in 72 characters, is that expected behavior

@ky0ko hm, it only appears to do that for quotes. The email you wrote to me initially is not truncated correctly nor marked as format=flowed

@ky0ko so I think I can give it marks for bottom posting but not for format=flowed

@sir that's weird, because if i view the source it shows as format=flowed on my end

@sir unless you're talking about one from disroot.org - those are from rainloop

the only ones sent by roundcube are from the address with my name in it

@ky0ko ah. I never saw an email from you from ingalls.rocks which had long enough lines to test if they were being flowed.

@sir it automatically truncates quotes in replies to 72 and makes the text fit. is there something specific you'd like me to send to test this?

@sir i could manually craft "quoted" text that is longer than 80 lines if that is what you want

@ky0ko just some lipsum would do fine. Quotes aren't the problem here

@ky0ko got the email - it's perfect. Thank you!

@sir imagine if plaintext didn't have two confusing meanings though

- plaintext email: non-rich-text email
- plaintext email: unencrypted email

@cwebber @sir In my mind the second one is “clear text”

- plaintext: words without markup
- cleartext: not encrypted

@sir great ressource ! top posting is useful to forward the whole conversation. I have no idea how this can be done when the converation is bottom-posted. Thought ?

@palpares you should attach the thread as an mbox or series of emails

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