Dorward's Ramblings

Yahoo! Bloated! Email!

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Updated on

I signed up to the mailing list for the Yahoo! UI Library yesterday (I'd spotted a bug in a code sample and thought I ought to report it).

The mailing list gave me two options, "Traditional" or "Fully Featured". The latter was the default and recommended, so I let it go through.

This morning I noticed a couple of mails from the list, which I thought was odd as I expected it to be higher traffic, so I did a bit of poking.

One of the messages that got through had the delight of X-Spam-Status: No, score=3.3 required=3.5 tests=BAYES_05,DNS_FROM_RFC_ABUSE,DNS_FROM_RFC_WHOIS,HTML_MESSAGE,HTML_TINY_FONT autolearn=no, and it turns out that a bunch more had fallen into the rejected as spam pile.

One of the major culprits was the "HTML_TINY_FONT" flag. It seems that, for some reason, "fully featured" email needs to have unreadable text it in.

But aside from unreadable text, what else does "fully featured" have to offer?

  • Instant access to important group features (photos, calendar, profiles, polls, files, etc). (Obviously just going to the group homepage when I want that information isn't enough, it has to be slammed into my face with every message)
  • Activity module includes what's happening in your group (Why not just have a means so you can get an email when something actually happens? Oh wait, Yahoo! has one of those…)

It gets better of course, I use a console based mail client, so I don't even get to see the rendered HTML.

Anyway, back to "Traditional" for me it is then.

So what would "Traditional" be? Would it be plain text, wrapped at 72 columns? Of course not, its still HTML, its just slightly less obnoxious HTML. (Its HTML even if the original message was sent in plain text.).

Come on people! Its a rare email that actually benefits from HTML formatting. Lets use plain text and avoid triggering spam filters left, right and centre.