Image Inanity

A short video (1:22) of me venting my frustrations about email formats:


In the old days, email was always plain text. And hard-core techies like me liked it that way.

Grudgingly, we came to accept HTML email. With hypertext markup, you can have bold-face, fonts, images.

But this is still okay because you can resize the text if you need to, the text is searchable, and Apple Mail on Leopard even recognizes dates and integrates well with the calendar program.

Where I have to draw the line is emails where the entire message is an image. It's extremely common in our institution to create a full-page flier and then distribute it via email as an image. It doesn't resize. It's not searchable. The dates are not recognized. The MIME standard for multimedia email allows for plain-text alternatives in this case, but they are rarely available.

Here's an even more egregious example, about the availability of our schedule of classes online. The link is blue. It's underlined. But it's not clickable. I can't even copy and paste. I have to type it in from sight.

Just say no to image-based email. (And nevermind the inconsistency of distributing a 4 MB flash applet to demonstrate this simple point! At least I provided a plain text alternative.)

©20022015 Christopher League