Topics

moderated Fixed Width Formatting


Alexis
 

Hi,

Might it be possible to have a 'fixed width formatting' option when viewing messages on the web front end. I am a member of a number of gorups that produce emails with large lists of which each column is padded out with spaces to keep the allignment of the columns. All these groups use plain text emails only, primarily to keep message sizes down as a 4,000 line email in plain text can be 56k, whereas in HTML could be 4Mb.
If it is possible, might you be able to make a setting in each member's profile so they view all messages in this format, or if not, how about within each group's setting's details.

Just transferred in from yahoogroups and I have to say a big congratulations on setting up an alternative to them and googlegroups, and just love your transfer routine..big BIG thumbs up

Cheers
Alexis


Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 12:22 pm, Alexis wrote:
Hi,

Might it be possible to have a 'fixed width formatting' option when viewing messages on the web front end. I am a member of a number of gorups that produce emails with large lists of which each column is padded out with spaces to keep the allignment of the columns. All these groups use plain text emails only, primarily to keep message sizes down as a 4,000 line email in plain text can be 56k, whereas in HTML could be 4Mb.
If it is possible, might you be able to make a setting in each member's profile so they view all messages in this format, or if not, how about within each group's setting's details.

Just transferred in from yahoogroups and I have to say a big congratulations on setting up an alternative to them and googlegroups, and just love your transfer routine..big BIG thumbs up

Cheers
Alexis

Alexis,

I did a quick test and if you generate a text only message using an email client  (eg Gmail) with a fixed width font, it renders properly when viewed on the groups.io web interface. Since there seems to be no way to chose a font online when composing, I don't see how you could directly generate a fixed width font post online.

Here's a sample I just pasted from a text message i sent to myself earlier for testing.

Fixed width font    < 4 Spaces     < 5 spaces
sdjhsdjklkjsadkj    < sdsadkjsdkl  < skldjasklj
 
The above rows should be aligned.


--
Gerald


Gerald Boutin <groupsio@...>
 

On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 03:22 pm, Gerald Boutin wrote:
Alexis,

I did a quick test and if you generate a text only message using an email client  (eg Gmail) with a fixed width font, it renders properly when viewed on the groups.io web interface. Since there seems to be no way to chose a font online when composing, I don't see how you could directly generate a fixed width font post online.

Here's a sample I just pasted from a text message i sent to myself earlier for testing.

Fixed width font    < 4 Spaces     < 5 spaces
sdjhsdjklkjsadkj    < sdsadkjsdkl  < skldjasklj
 
The above rows should be aligned.


--
Gerald
Well, it was in fixed width font (monospace) while I was composing the message, but the formatting didn't come through.
 
--
Gerald


Alexis
 

Thanks for your response Gerald


Here is an example

VHIQR 20180501 1201 XA0000 (GBLXRS BIZ) (BIZ-FLIGHT)
CGDPF 20180501 1821 XA0000 (CL60 BIZ) (BIZ-FLIGHT)
OYMSI 20180501 0918 XA0000 (GBLX BIZ) (BIZ-FLIGHT)
CGWHF 20180501 1503 XA0000 (GBLXRS BIZ) (BIZ-FLIGHT)
GWIRG 20180501 1844 ZD0000 (E135BJ BIZ) (BIZ-FLIGHT)
VPCRA 20180501 1247 ZD0000 (E135BJ BIZ) (BIZ-FLIGHT)

If I create this on the website then the 'column' alignment disappears due to the width of each character. But creating it, like i have now using thunderbird, set to plain text, is appears fine.

The original when posted, came through in my inbox just fine, when viewed online was all over the place, BUT when I went to view source, the alignment re-appeared.

Looking at the source coding for the website, this appears to be because when viewing the source the <PRE> tag is used. So that is all I am asking, that we have the option to 'add' the <pre> tag to all messages we view online rather than having to scroll to the bottom of some 4,000+ line emails and then click on 'More' and then 'view source' :)
I realise this would not affect most people's groups, but as it would mean an extremely minor addition to the coding, I ask :)

btw, the bulk of the messages being posted to my lists are not posted via web clients, or web front ends, rather directly from purpose built software, and generally just use the basic email headers

Cheers
Alexis

On 10/05/2018 16:26, Gerald Boutin wrote:
On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 03:22 pm, Gerald Boutin wrote:
Alexis,
I did a quick test and if you generate a text only message using an email
client (eg Gmail) with a fixed width font, it renders properly when viewed
on the groups.io web interface. Since there seems to be no way to chose a
font online when composing, I don't see how you could directly generate a
fixed width font post online.
Here's a sample I just pasted from a text message i sent to myself earlier
for testing.
Fixed width font < 4 Spaces < 5 spaces
sdjhsdjklkjsadkj < sdsadkjsdkl < skldjasklj
The above rows should be aligned.
--
Gerald
Well, it was in fixed width font (monospace) while I was composing the message,
but the formatting didn't come through.
--
Gerald


Alexis
 

and as I suspected, viewing this message online removes the 'alignment' :)


 

Alexis,

Might it be possible to have a 'fixed width formatting' option when
viewing messages on the web front end.
I second that motion.

If it is possible, might you be able to make a setting in each
member's profile so they view all messages in this format, or if not,
how about within each group's setting's details.
I'd rather have it be handy, as a view option when looking at messages. I'd have it apply to all the text/plain message bodies being displayed on the current page. I'd like to have it remembered as you navigate the site.

That is, I'd rather not have it tucked away in my profile where I have to go find it to change it, nor would I (as a member) want to have to pester the group admins to change it on a group-wide basis.

Shal


 

Alexis,

So that is all I am asking, that we have the option to 'add' the <pre>
tag to all messages we view online
I'd recommend against <pre>, as it has the primary effect of eliminating word-wrap and replacing it with a horizontal scroll (when the source line is too long for the display window).

Rather I'd suggest what you started with: use a fixed pitch font.

I think it makes sense to apply to messages that have only a text/plain message body. I'm not sure if it would be useful or just annoying to apply it as a default font for text/HTML message bodies.

Shal


Alexis
 

I was under the impression that all plain text emails had a max line length of 80 is it? Can't remember exactly offhand. Anyways, with that, there should be no issues with the line being too long for the display window. Unless of course the email has not been properly formatted.

As for HTML emails, well I think they are the anti christ and besides, any properly formatted HTML email SHOULD have a plain text version as well.

What I missed out was that all my lists are set to plain text only, so html is not an issue....so your suggestion of adding it to a group's settings opposed to a user's settings, makes more sense.

Alexis

On 10/05/2018 23:49, Shal Farley wrote:
Alexis,

> So that is all I am asking, that we have the option to 'add' the <pre>
> tag to all messages we view online
I'd recommend against <pre>, as it has the primary effect of eliminating word-wrap and replacing it with a horizontal scroll (when the source line is too long for the display window).
Rather I'd suggest what you started with: use a fixed pitch font.
I think it makes sense to apply to messages that have only a text/plain message body. I'm not sure if it would be useful or just annoying to apply it as a default font for text/HTML message bodies.
Shal


 

Alexis,

I was under the impression that all plain text emails had a max line
length of 80 is it?
80 includes the ASCII CR and LF characters that terminate the line. So 78 message characters. But that's the original email standard.

In the current standard:

2.1.1. Line Length Limits

There are two limits that this specification places on the number of
characters in a line. Each line of characters MUST be no more than
998 characters, and SHOULD be no more than 78 characters, excluding
the CRLF.
...
Again, even though this limitation is put
on messages, it is incumbent upon implementations that display
messages to handle an arbitrarily large number of characters in a
line (certainly at least up to the 998 character limit) for the sake
of robustness.
https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5322.txt

As for HTML emails, well I think they are the anti christ and besides,
any properly formatted HTML email SHOULD have a plain text version as
well.
Heh, while I've often said something similar, a proposal to display the text/plain part instead of the text/HTML part in a Multipart/Alternative message body would be a separate option (I'd think) from just providing a fixed-pitch font option.

What I missed out was that all my lists are set to plain text only, so
html is not an issue....so your suggestion of adding it to a group's
settings opposed to a user's settings, makes more sense.
No, I specifically did NOT suggest that it be a group setting. Rather a viewing option, more like forward or reverse date order when looking at a list of messages. Something you can change on the spot when you see that a message doesn't look the way you want it to.

Shal

/"\
\ / ASCII Ribbon Campaign
X Against HTML Mail
/ \


Bruce Bowman
 

On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 06:28 pm, Alexis wrote:
If I create this on the website then the 'column' alignment disappears due to the width of each character. But creating it, like i have now using thunderbird, set to plain text, is appears fine.
It's not just the width of the characters. By default, browsers collapse multiple spaces into a single space unless you use the HTML nbsp character. Throw in proportional fonts and it's rare that things will line up. Overcoming this will require both bracketing the desired text in <PRE> tags and using a monospaced font (like Consolas or Courier).

Bruce


Alexis
 

fair enough, but as this is already done when viewing the source code, it should just be a case of adding that existing coding elsewhere

On 11/05/2018 07:50, Bruce Bowman wrote:
On Thu, May 10, 2018 at 06:28 pm, Alexis wrote:
If I create this on the website then the 'column' alignment disappears due
to the width of each character. But creating it, like i have now using
thunderbird, set to plain text, is appears fine.
It's not just the width of the characters. By default, browsers collapse
multiple spaces into a single space unless you use the HTML nbsp character.
Throw in proportional fonts and it's rare that things will line up. Overcoming
this will require both bracketing the desired text in <PRE> tags and using a
monospaced font (like Consolas or Courier).
Bruce


Alexis
 

Thanks for the info

On 11/05/2018 01:01, Shal Farley wrote:
Alexis,

> I was under the impression that all plain text emails had a max line
> length of 80 is it?
80 includes the ASCII CR and LF characters that terminate the line. So 78 message characters. But that's the original email standard.
In the current standard:
2.1.1.  Line Length Limits
   There are two limits that this specification places on the number of
   characters in a line.  Each line of characters MUST be no more than
   998 characters, and SHOULD be no more than 78 characters, excluding
   the CRLF.
   ...
                             Again, even though this limitation is put
   on messages, it is incumbent upon implementations that display
   messages to handle an arbitrarily large number of characters in a
   line (certainly at least up to the 998 character limit) for the sake
   of robustness.
https://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc5322.txt

> As for HTML emails, well I think they are the anti christ and besides,
> any properly formatted HTML email SHOULD have a plain text version as
> well.
Heh, while I've often said something similar, a proposal to display the text/plain part instead of the text/HTML part in a Multipart/Alternative message body would be a separate option (I'd think) from just providing a fixed-pitch font option.

> What I missed out was that all my lists are set to plain text only, so
> html is not an issue....so your suggestion of adding it to a group's
> settings opposed to a user's settings, makes more sense.
No, I specifically did NOT suggest that it be a group setting. Rather a viewing option, more like forward or reverse date order when looking at a list of messages. Something you can change on the spot when you see that a message doesn't look the way you want it to.
Shal
  /"\
  \ /  ASCII Ribbon Campaign
   X   Against HTML Mail
  / \


 

Bruce,

It's not just the width of the characters. By default, browsers collapse multiple spaces into a single space unless you use the HTML nbsp character.

Oops. I forgot that. So yes, something more than just a monospaced font selection is required.

My real objection to <pre> is the boxed style it has here. But maybe a simpler style could be used in the particular case of displaying a text/plain message monospaced.

The question of word-wrap could be left to the sender, as Alexis suggests.

Shal

  /"\ 
  \ /  ASCII Ribbon Campaign 
   X   Against HTML Mail 
  / \ 


Alexis
 

/"\
\ / ASCII Ribbon Campaign
X Against HTML Mail
/ \
_._,_._,_
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ferpectly....... :) :) :)