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Re: Email Standards, MIME, HTML Mail, RTF etc.

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Although you asked this question of Nigel, I would like to put in my 2 cents

MIME (Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions) is a standardized method for
organizing divergent file formats. The method organizes file formats according
to the file's MIME type.

It's what you Browser and E-Mail reader use to keep track of plug-ins, files,
graphic images, etc.

HTML uses short tags (source text enclosed in angle brackets) to designate a
page's links and graphical elements. When you transmit a page, a HTML browser or
E-Mail reader interprets the HTML tags and presents them as links and other
graphical elements.

When an ASCII E-mail reader opens the document it sees the source text and angle
brackets as literal characters.  Can be very hard to read.

I suspect that when you produced your Word HTML it linked to the Graphics
instead of imbeddeding the file.  My preferred word processor does essentially
the same thing.  I simply embed the graphic image instead of linking.

RTF, Rich Text Format, has, I believe, become abandoned technology.

Now for your question.  I think that for E-Mail, HTML is the way to go.  It has
stood the test of time and has become a component of most Internet Packages and
all browsers.  Those who don't upgrade risk falling behind.  Not just on this
list server, but on all Internet applications.  There are several HTML compliant
packages.  The best, IMHO is Netscape Navigator.  It is my personal favorite.
There are several packages available.  Try looking at or and search for browsers.  You'll be surprised by the acutal
number available.

For complicated documents, why not use Adobe, or my favorite, Envoy, (Tumbleweed
Software)  The .PDF or .ENV file could be attached to an HTML or ASCII document
and then opened by the user with either a plug-in or stand alone reader.  The
reader's are free from both Adobe and Tumbleweed.

Envoy is simple.  Just select the print driver, print, and you have a file for
transmission.  Don't use Adobe so I not that familiar, but anticipate that it is
also simple.  I know from past post that you like Adobe.

Arvel L. Williams, P.E.

Dennis S. Wish wrote:

> Nigel,
> Can you enlighten me on what software that you know of is HTML mail
> compatible. Also, if you can answer this one, is HTML mail basically the
> same as MIME compliant format?
> I am using the Outlook9 98 Beta and it is provides the option of HTML mail
> which in Outlook 97 was not stated as HTML but MIME.
> To respond to Maura,
> Microsoft has not cornered the market on buggy software. I believe that the
> public encourages the release of software before it is ready by purchasing
> it as soon as it is announced ready and by putting pressure on software
> companies (actually the greatest pressure is from the stockholder) to work
> through problems after the product is released. If the public refused to
> purchase buggy software and return buggy packages to the store that we
> bought them from, we may send a better message to the developer.
> The attachments attached to email is not necessarily a bug, but may be an
> announcement of an incompatibility. For example, I receive notices that my
> mail can not be read and has three separage attachments to it. Investigation
> shows that the receivers software does not support MIME or HTML formating.
> This is not a bug, but an incompatibility between software or versions.
> One more question that you may be able to answer:
> I have used Microsoft Office 97 Word, Excel and Powerpoint to produce an
> HTML document. I was disappointed when I found out that the graphics,
> buttons and text were not all bound in the same HTML document, but were
> placed in a folder (direcorty) ready for upload to your Web ISP. I was under
> the impression that it would be in one document that you could distribute
> like a graphic but with editing capabilities.
> In an article on Office 98 Beta in PC Computing, it stated that Office 97 &
> 98 boast HTML compatibility but did not deliver. It failed to explain
> whether they implied in one document or just simply failed to work.
> Any comments from anyone
> Dennis Wish PE