[Maildev] Engineering Council or Engineering Steering Committee (ESC) - where art thou?

Mark Rousell mark.rousell at signal100.com
Fri Aug 31 16:23:01 EDT 2018

On 31/08/2018 19:27, Ben Bucksch wrote:
> Colors are not part of HTML. (they were at one point in time, but they
> were neither originally, nor are now)
> HTML is about structure, not presentation. the reader software can
> present the structure in a way that is pleasant to the reader user.
> i think this is very appropriate for the email context.

Oh come on, you're joking aren't you? ;-) As you know, when people talk
about "HTML emails" they are not being literal. HTML emails today can
(and do) include CSS if you feel that HTML alone should not include
presentation attributes.

Out there in the real world, HTML emails (both with or without CSS)
include colour. It doesn't really matter whether the colour information
is done directly in HTML elements or via CSS, but the fact remains that
HTML emails can and do include coloured text and backgrounds and it is
necessary for Thunderbird to be part of this world.

In an ideal world, sure, it would be nice if the recipients of emails
could choose exactly how they were presented but that's a job for their
own mail client. It is ultimately up to their mail client to parse
incoming emails and show only those elements or attributes (either HTML
and/or CSS) that the user wishes to see.

In the context under discussion here, like it or not, if we want TB to
be competitive in the modern world then it does need to give users the
chance to compose HTML-encoded emails either with colour or without, as
they prefer. Exactly how their colour preferences are encoded in actual
emails (e.g. old fashioned HTML tags and attributes or funky up to date
embedded CSS) is largely a separate question.

Mark Rousell

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