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

Douglas Crawford touchetek at gmail.com
Thu Jul 1 16:28:42 UTC 2021

Ah thanks very much for researching and responding.
When I got reports of my message bodies being "scrubbed"
in the digest, I thought that meant gone, as in:

   3. Computers
   a. To maintain the integrity of by finding and correcting errors:
   software that automatically scrubs stored data.
   b. To erase in such a way as to render unrecoverable: scrubbed the
   laptop's hard drive to destroy incriminating evidence.

Dang, sloppy of me.
I see now they are a click away in the history. Not sure if that
is the case in the emailed digests, but it doesn't really matter now.

The remaining issue is the inconvenience of the bodies of
emails in HTML mode being attached in the case of the mail list
inbox messages and also turning into a URL in the history " collection 
of prior postings".  A nuisance to both inbox and "prior posting" users.
The issue of the email bodies becoming attachments has come up a number 
of times and unless I missed it no solution was offered to avoid it.
Evidence has come to light that it is related to sending in HTML mode. 
Short term solution is have members send to the list in plain text mode.
I could make the change for the destination lists.vcfed.org in 
Thunderbird.  Whether all users can conform to this is yet to be

I have some indication that the VCF staff is looking into these 
behaviors and may come up with something on the mail list side to 
eliminate the generation of attachments/links for the email bodies.

I'm anticipating no one would object to their HTML *mode* responses
being stripped down to text and treated like an PLAIN TEXT *mode*,
email, but it remains to be seen if mailman has a way to do that.

On 7/1/2021 11:33 AM, Herb Johnson via vcf-midatlantic wrote:
> Two points: one about "lost in history", one in opposition to embedded 
> content.
> 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 
> monthly.
> https://lists.vcfed.org/mailman/listinfo/vcf-midatlantic
> 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

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