[vcf-midatlantic] Off Topic: Confirmed fix for your messages being in an attachment

Herb Johnson hjohnson at retrotechnology.info
Thu Jul 1 15:33:37 UTC 2021

Two points: one about "lost in history", one in opposition to embedded 

On "lost in history", from Douglas Crawford:

> Worse I just learned today (and this was the LAST STRAW)
> that every message that everyone has sent in HTML *mode*,  where the 
> text body became an attachment, has been lost in history because the 
> mailman digest strip these attachments off.  Its all gone.
> Years and years of messages.
> All due to misunderstanding of this facility.

Doug, the operation of the VCFed midatlantic email list is outside my 
skills set. But I don't understand your "lost in history" statement as a 
factual matter, within my incomplete knowledge which I'll spell out.

I read the list *exclusively* with a Web browser, accessing the list at 
the link below and then for the month as the messages are accumulated 


I am one of very few posting-members who do this, apparently. Never mind 
why few do or why I do. That being the case, I'll describe what I know 
if others don't know it.

So as I look with my Web browser, on the mailist Web site, at the June 
2021 list; and then look at your June emails - which have the "scrubbed 
attachment" feature - I was obliged to do as you noted, to click another 
link, to read your message text.

To my point now. Your attached text is not "lost to history". The 
attached file is also archived, just as the messages are archived. For 
instance one such attached/detached email content is linked as:

> https://lists.vcfed.org/pipermail/vcf-midatlantic/attachments/20210615/eae44a3a/attachment.htm

To read it, you follow the link. The link and content is "preserved". So 
I don't understand your "lost" statement.

Now your statement focuses on "digest" mode, which I don't use, and if I 
recall sends a daily? email packaging several emails of the day. I do 
not know, if these links are part of the digested messages. If the links 
are, apparently you can recover the attachments as I've described. If 
not, recover them from the maillist Web page interface.

Also: the maillist on the online Web interface, provides an accumulative 
monthly gzip package of emails. That also excludes the attached texts 
BUT it includes Web links per message (like the link above for a June 
message, I just checked).

Doug, it's possible you mean other attachments such as photos or 
documents, which may not be processed as I just described. Simply put: 
it's outside my skills and time available to make a determination about 
that. I leave that to the email list administrators and/or yourself.

All that, addresses the "lost in history" comment.


About embedded content:

Dave McGuire makes quite a case for not supporting HTML and not 
providing various attachments. Others have also. To me they appears to 
be a "traditional" view of email, one I happen to agree with. But others 
may not be interested in traditional views of email, and so not persuaded.

I observe that in other email list schemes (such as groups.io) which 
support embedded content and various schemes, I don't care for the 
result. Which is, to embed important information among a bunch of other 
emails that can only be found by tedious keyword search. By "important", 
I mean content an email list member would like to find later; or content 
that someone doing Web search, might like to find for its value.

In my vintage computing work, I've done such searching many many times. 
It's tedious enough, just to treat emails as a text file. It's more 
tedious, to be obliged to read the emails with whatever email-reading 
tools are available. I don't care for email systems to be used for hobby 
collaborative environments, for many reasons not the least being the 
inability to *edit and supersede old content*. While not "lost", that 
content is obscured.

But as I noted earlier in this email: others may not be persuaded by 
what amount to "traditionalist" views in modern use of the Internet. To 
old people it should not be a surprise that young people may not be 
interested in prior practices.


These are all matters for the email list administrators to consider. Who 
they are, what they know, and how they take actions, are all mysterious 
to me. (shrug) They did not address Doug's comment (so far) so I chose 
to address it. Others provided their opinions on the matter, so did I.

regards, Herb Johnson

Herbert R. Johnson, New Jersey in the USA
http://www.retrotechnology.com OR .net
preserve, recover, restore 1970's computing
email: hjohnson AT retrotechnology DOT com
or try later herbjohnson AT comcast DOT net

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