Friday, 10-OCT-1997 15:34:25.67
> hans aberg writes, with respect to a request to wrap to 72 characters
> in e-mail:
> Phillip Helbig mentions the email problem specifically when reading
> quotes in email:
> But it is not necessary to do it: With styled text, quotes are enclosed
> with an environment <excerpt>... </excerpt>, in my email reader displayed
> with a bar at the left hand side of the quote.
> i can sympathize with this, but i'm unfortunately on the wrong end of
> this, working on a vms system.
As I am---is that a coincidence?
> there really is some value to the shorter lines.
There ARE some fancy mailers available for VMS, and I've also had some
experience with more `modern' email packages, but chose to stay with
good old VMS mail since it can do all the basic stuff a typical email
package can, and also some things it can't, and has the advantage of
just working out of the box. Especially when one learns the
(well-documented) details and combines it with a customised editor (I
use EDT) it is quite a powerful system.
Lots of email and other packages (especially those with a GUI) have a
lot of bells and whistles but really add little functionality, IMHO, and
sometimes distract from the true purpose. The fact is, as long as not
everyone uses the same operating system, and they shouldn't (unless it's
VMS:), then one MUST stick to the lowest common denominator, which means
less than 80 characters of ASCII 32--126 or whatever. Many things do
fine when sticking to this---TeX, HTML, PostScript and so on, and
editing, emailing, and other things demanding portability are no
problem, as is modifying the files.
While this is a little off-topic, it is important (both in the context
of emails to this list as in distribution of source files); the
advantages gained by sticking to the minimal configuration are larger
than the disadvantages caused by not doing so.
At present, there is no completely standardised AND flexible AND good
AND available on all platforms (with no price, money or otherwise, to
pay) email protocoll, so I think we should stick with the basics.
Especially if one wants the same rules to apply to newsgroups etc.
Phillip Helbig Email ... [log in to unmask]
Nuffield Radio Astronomy Laboratories Tel. ..... +44 1477 571 321 (ext. 297)
Jodrell Bank Fax ................. +44 1477 571 618
Macclesfield Telex ................. 36149 JODREL G
UK-Cheshire SK11 9DL Web .... http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~pjh/
My opinions are not necessarily those of NRAL or the University of Manchester.