Re: Questions and Observations From a New user


On 2001.11.03 07:57 Jim Mayer wrote:
> (14) The ability to use the Gecko HTML rendering engine from Mozilla for 
> high quality, in-line, HTML display would be really slick.

There are several things to consider when you're thinking about using a 
"real browser" to render HTML mail:
- That will enable your email client to, like outlook, access a web site to 
display email, just like Outlook does. It will allow others to update stats 
on who's viewing the message, may divulge your email address to 3rd parties 
or download harmful software.
- It would cause your dial-up connection with dial on demand set to dial 
the internet while reading emails offline, if they contain to web hosted 
- It would slow down Balsa a lot, because parts of Mozilla would need to be 
loaded/initialized prior to previewing an HTML mail, just as with Outlook. 
However, while IE is an integral part of Windows Explorer, and therefore is 
always loaded anyway, on Linux this is not the case. Loading it takes time 
that you may not wish to spend when quickly flipping through emails.
- It introduces an additional security risk if any of the Netscape binaries 
are installed world-.writable. Another user replacing those binaries with 
his own could easily run arbitrary software with your user ID.

When I get HTML mail, I usually only need the plain text to identify what 
the purpose of the email is. Most HTML email I get is spam, anyway, so 
after reading the first line or so, it's CTRL-D anyway.
There is an advertisement letter I get from an online shoe store sometimes, 
that I _do_ wish to read. It references pictures that are on their web 
site, but they have thoughtfully provided a link to view the message online 
as well. That way I do not need to have a full rendering of it in my email 
client, but launch a browser to view the web page.
 From the web page I have the additional benefit of being able to order 
directly, so why have a rendering of all the pictures in my email client?
Most personal communications I receive in HTML format were typed in the 
default font at the sender's email client anyway, they just heven't turned 
on the "Send as text" feature, so it gets sent as HTML. Usually a nice 
letter telling then to please sned future communications as "text only" 
will help that.
For all other purposes, I can still launch Mozilla/Netscape on a part I 
wish to see in full splendor, like HTML greeting cards and such. I don't 
see a need for the extensive modifications necessary to make this work in 
Balsa. That would be bloat!

A note on GTKHTML: On my system, inline images that are contained in the 
message as separate MIME parts are not always rendered correctly. Usually 
this happens:
When I view the mutiparty/mixed with it's embedded multipart/related 
section's text/plain part selected, I get mutiple panes showing the 
individual parts, rather than having the picture rendered within the text 
area at the proper position.
If the HTML part is selected, I see placeholders in the proper position, I 
do not see the images. This, of cource, should be fixed.


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