[Dshield] Hard to Read this List Sometimes

James C. Slora, Jr. Jim.Slora at phra.com
Thu Jul 25 22:03:22 GMT 2002

It is very often difficult to read posts in this list because of all the
extra junk that shows up when people using Outlook compose their mail in
Word or in HTML.

I'm not the list manager and I do not represent any authority, but I'd like
to suggest that posts should be sent in Plain Text whenever possible - to
make the list more readable.

MS Word and HTML formats both cause the entire content of a message to
appear twice - once in plain text, and once with all of the extra characters
required to render HTML. Word also adds a bunch of XML that further clutters
its messages.

It might seem un-stylish for this list to not render the HTML instead of
displaying the ugliness of the underlying code, but there are some good
reasons this type of list should use Plain Text:

   1. We sometimes need to share specifics of exploit code including email
and HTML exploits, and we want our code to be displayed verbatim instead of
being interpreted. This is why it would not be appropriate for the list
manager to automatically remove the duplicate information and HTML code.

   2. There are a huge variety of people on this list, and they do not all
use mail clients that render HTML.

We could ask the list moderators to manually edit out redundant information,
but we are lucky they are able to devote time to maintaining this list (and
filtering the Spam out) as it is.

My two bits (little-endian).

Those who know how to set up Outlook (or those who just disagree with me),
read no further. I don't want to patronize anyone. For those who would like
some help, my recommendations are below.

How to Set Outlook to Compose Messages Appropriately for a Mailing List

>From the Outlook Inbox window:

- Tools > Options
- "Mail Format" tab
Uncheck "Use Microsoft Word to edit e-mail messages"
and set "Send in this message format" to "Plain Text"

If you need or want to use Word for most of your email, you can use the
above procedure each time you are composing a message to the list - and
change it back when you are finished.

If you like to use HTML email for the majority of your messages, that's OK -
you can leave your "Send in this message format" setting at "HTML". When you
are composing a message to this list, you can set just the one message to
Plain Text from the composition window:

- Format > Plain Text

I wouldn't worry about lose the SPeling and graMar cheking in Word - we
friendly folks on the list will forgive the occasional typ0 ;-)

More information about the list mailing list