| Joys of Plain Text|
Winterspeak: The Joy of Plaintext
Very well said. I think people who don't wrap long sentences (they assume
the recipient has Microsoft Outlook), and use rich text in e-mails
so lack vision. These people do not value
e-mail as a durable document....document that needs to live beyond the
life of the reader.
When I told one of my friends (who does not wrap email), that
I have a record of every e-mail I recieved and sent since 1990
he was shocked (what a moron). "It is a record of my life" I said. And
because it is all in plain text, I can back it up, index it, search
it, move it across operating systems, and across hardwares.
Then the evil empire held my nose and poured Outlook Express down my throat.
Now my e-mail is spread over six computers (all using same client - Outlook Express),
but no way to search across them. There is no text export --
the only thing it can export to is yet another Microsoft product), or merge...
See in 1990, I could merge my InBox and SentBox and the resulting page reads like
an interview... with delimiter (>) indicating who said what. This is 2001 and
see where we are with the Innovation company.
There are two other bad guys against PlainText, and both have vested interests:
• AOL - Although AOL mail (and their instant messanger) is Plaintext friendly, they
need to actively support Export MailBox as Text feature. Like Microsoft, AOL stands to gain by a format lock-in.
• Adobe - By bundling formatting features with the reading client, Adobe has sinister plans. Fifty years from now, when all of mankind's legacy is in the electronic form,
guess who stands to benefit...
FYI: Most of Kamat.com is produced based on the
letters written by my father over the
last six decades. Imagine that they were e-mails and there was no way to read a message
that was composed in 1962 when he was in New York, or in 1976 when he was in the deep jungles
of Central India... the software to read those messages would have become obsolete..
PlainText rules for the same reason the paper rules -- because it is not dependent on anybody for its
• Gandhi in ASCII Art
• An Example of Kamat`s Letters
|(Comments Disabled for Now. Sorry!)||First Written: Friday, August 10, 2001|
Last Modified: 1/29/2003