[LMB] Re: Mental image... Miles sends a message to... (spoilers stripped)

Jim Toth jtoth at megrez.org
Mon, 11 Feb 2002 00:06:39 -0500

On Sun, Feb 10, 2002 at 09:34:20PM -0600, Scott Raun (sraun at fireopal.org) said:
> On Sun, Feb 10, 2002 at 06:05:35PM -0800, Mark Atwood wrote:
> > Scott Raun <sraun at fireopal.org> writes:
> > > Control-L (form-feed, IIRC), is NOT a reliable way to insert spoiler
> > > space - too many of our clients just show it as ^L.
> > 
> > Too many of our clients are broken then.
> Sorry, I have to disagree with you here.  The original mail-spec calls
> for 7-bit ASCII - you are NOT supposed to assume that anything else
> will make it through unscathed.  MIME was an additional spec that
> allowed for other character-sets, added after the fact.  And _many_
> mailers - including Outlook and Outlook Express - do NOT handle MIME
> according to the spec.

^L *is* ASCII.  At least, that's what the ASCII(7) man page tells me,
on Linux and Solaris.

But yeah, ^L as a spoiler character, something I've seen a lot in
Usenet, is not something I've seen much in email.  And not terribly
helpful in this case, where (as Scott mentions belw) people get
digests with embedded posts which contain spoilers.

My mailer doesn't support it either, although I think there's an
outstanding wishlist bug for ^L.

I'll note that Mark's mail program is also a newsreading program.  :-)

> Also, why should a text-display respond to a printer command?  Why
> should mail be even remotely WYSIWYG?

Tradition.  It's been used like that for over a decade.

> Don't forget, the list spec for spoiler space both before _and_ after
> the message, to make it easier for people receiving the digest version
> to identify and skip the spoiler.  ^L before and after does NOT make
> for easy identifiers - that string of characters scrolling down the
> side is a very easy thing to key off of.