Fun_People Archive
1 Apr
HTML, netnews, and email

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From: Peter Langston <psl>
Date: Wed,  1 Apr 98 22:04:28 -0800
To: Fun_People
Precedence: bulk
Subject: HTML, netnews, and email

X-Lib-of-Cong-ISSN: 1098-7649
[Although email or netnews postings encoded as HTML can be both annoying
 and wasteful, this person has obviously been pushed over the line.  It just
 wouldn't be nice of me to recommend using his javascripts (see the end) in
 email... but it might be nice of me to point out that the reassurance that
 "reading email can't do anything bad to your system" may not be accurate if
 you read email with an HTML browser...
 Note: this is from a WWW page and was mildly copyedited by me.

Hello, all you MS Windows people.
Let me teach you how not to make an idiot of yourself on news

First, remember the Net was built on, and is still based on, UNIX.

Yes, the default for posting with MS Outlook and other MS Windows apps is set  
for HTML, but this is wrong, a flaw, a mistake.
	Send in ASCII plain text only.
Not only do you show the entire world you're using MS software for posting,
but you also show you don't know how to change the obvoiusly defective
default settings.

If you want to make yourself unwelcome on the Net and look like a stark
naked newbie, then cross post to groups off topic, xmit in HTML on news, and
post binaries to non-binary groups. You will generate good laughs for people
who know you and piss off people who don't know you.

HTML is made for web-pages, like this one.
If I'd used plain text to write this you'd probably have thought I was an
idiot because I didn't know this was an HTML-medium. You'd have thought the
same if this had been a .gif or .jpg containing this text.

I guess you get the point.

The same goes for news. News is a text-only medium, and you behave like an  
idiot if you send HTML or binaries where they aren't supposed to be.
You might think you're cool and people will look up to you and lots of girls  
will fall in love with you because your postings appear so superiorly well  
designed compared to all other text-only articles.
But that won't happen. You only reveal yourself as being a complete moron.

Besides, lots of people pay for receiving news, HTML in news is both a waste  
of bandwidth and a waste of other people's download-time and connect-time  

The entire world isn't AOL, somewhere there still are disks that do get full
and articles get rejected because of lack of space to store them on. Having
the power of rational thought should allow you to see the extent of the
folly and realize you should not perform it.
Some providers have already set up filters to keep out HTML-coded articles
thereby ensuring deteriorated throughput for HTML.
Another disadvantage for HTML posters is that many well-established users
of usenet - the sort of ones who are likely to give correct answers to
questions - will not bother to read such postings.
Yes, it's harder to get the attention of people not too interested in what
you're writing, but that's one of the points of news - not many people care
about who or what you are, the thing that matters is what you write and not
how your posting is designed.
Design isn't important on news, it just pisses people off, use your brain
instead. Your IQ and your knowledge on specific things will make people
respect you, HTML postings only show you have neither IQ nor knowledge.
If you want cool and flashy things on your screen you need to buy a Nintendo
or Sega, they're made for this. Usenet is used for info-exchange, not

If you look at what kind of articles you read you'll get something to
compare yourself with:
Do Gurus, Wizards and Experts post HTML?  NO! Never!
Do Spammers, Morons and Wanna-bees post HTML? YES! Because no one would
notice their crap if they didn't. But they're making a mistake here, they
get noticed in the same way as someone that rams your car, you notice him
but you hate his guts.

Remember though, people reading your postings won't think you're a Wizard
just because you don't post in HTML, but at least there's a chance you'll
be one some day.

It's not easy to get people to stop posting with HTML, but it's fairly easy
to stop them from reading news with browsers. My guess is these people are
most likely the worst polluters. I have a hunch they use the browser, then
they notice there's this thing called News they can read with the browser,
too. After a while they notice they can post, so they just go on doing that
without having any idea of how civilized people behave on the Net.

This is a piece of JavaScript that shuts down browsers.  It's probably very
unethical of me to suggest it as a .sig for your posts. So I won't.  It's
probably also very unethical to suggest including it in follow-ups to
articles containing HTML, because these follow-ups will most likely be read
by the original polluter.  So I won't tell you to do that either, but you
get the message.

Short version:
<html><meta http-equiv="Content-Type:text/html">
<script Language="JavaScript">parent.close();</script></html>

Version with a message:
<html><meta http-equiv="Content-Type:text/html"><script  
Language="JavaScript"> function f() {var s = "Spammers galore! We don't want  
HTML on usenet so your browser will stop."; alert(s); parent.close();};  
</script><body onload="f();return true" >Don't read news with a  
browser,<br>don't browse with a newsreader, <br>don't email with a  
newsreader,<br>don't browse with an emailer. <br></html>

Do you want to try them?  Be my guest, here they are:
  _Short version_
  _Version with a message_

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