We Just Have to Work With What We Have

Roger Johansson recently posted a bit of a rant about how much he hates HTML email. He also wrote how if anyone thinks otherwise they’re weird/wrong/stupid:

“Some people even like receiving HTML email.” (I have replaced his italics with my bold.)

Okay, so I’m weird, wrong and stupid.

But the thing that gets me the most is this:

“I still don’t do HTML email though. As long as support for Web Standards in email clients is as crappy and unpredictable as it currently is, well I’m sorry, but I’m not going back to nested layout tables and spacer GIFs just to create an email. Until the situation improves I’m happy to hand over the job of creating HTML email to somebody else.”

Well, I’m sorry too, Roger, but in the real world we just have to work with what we have. Were we all evil in the 90s for using tables and spacer GIFs for layout? No, we weren’t. We were just doing the best we could with the available technology.

Imagine saying back then, “I’m not developing any websites until browser manufacturers improve their browsers.”

Yep, right.

I’m not saying we should be happy with the status quo either, and David Greiner’s excellent post on why we need improvement in the area of standard support in email will hopefully shake a few things up.

I’m sure the day will come when we have decent standards support in our mail clients, but in the meantime those of us that flirt with reality have to deal with HTML email. That includes using layout tables and all sorts of other ‘evil’ measures.

But we just have to do the best with what we have.


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