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Subject: Re: Sending plain text tables in e-mail
From: Jacob Palme <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:IETF working group on HTML in e-mail <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Mar 2001 22:02:07 +0100
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At 15.53 -0500 01-03-22, Ed Levinson wrote:
>If a UA does both proportion and constant width fonts then can't the
>sender format the table with a constant width font?  That requires
>no change.  Why is space preservation the solution?  5 spaces on the
>line above IETF in your example will not cause the next character to
>align with the m of meeting.  Using constant width fonts (ex.
>Courier) solves the problem.

The problem with a constant-width font is

(a) The recipient may not have the constant-width font installed,
     which the sender uses. This can be avoided by using for
     example the <TT> tag, or by using <FONT FACE="monospace">.

(b) HTML is defined so that multiple spaces are to be shown as
     only a single space. To avoid this, you can either use <PRE>
     or you can replace all spaces with "&nbsp;".

I am not sure what of this is supported by mailers. The problem
with standards is that they only work if everyone uses the same
subset of the standard. And HTML is so rich, that those mailers
which do not use a web browser to display their messages, may
not support the same method of showing this kind of text.
If the sender uses <TT> and the recipient mailer only supports
<PRE> or the reverse, they will not be able to exchange this
kind of messages.
--
Jacob Palme <[log in to unmask]> (Stockholm University and KTH)
for more info see URL: http://www.dsv.su.se/jpalme/

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