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Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Fri Aug 26 16:12:53 CEST 2016

> Paolo Bolzoni wrote:
>> The world would be a much better place if we could ban signatures and
>> non pure-text emails. Alas...

The world is a better place for it neither banning, nor trying to ban,
such things.

First, how do you ban signatures without banning people?  Many people
work in businesses which mandate signatures.  If we attempted to ban
signatures we'd be telling people, "unless you have a personal email
account, you don't deserve to talk to people."

Second, how do you ban signatures?  That would be an interesting problem
in AI, and would lead to false positives.  Again, this would have the
effect of barring some people from communicating.

Third, define "non pure-text".  If you're requiring 7-bit ASCII then
you're telling people from non-English-speaking countries that they
can't communicate.  And once you open it up to Unicode, you've
introduced a huge amount of attack surface -- I can't think of a
coherent argument that says "we'll support arbitrary character sets
including Unicode, but HTML is evil because of the attack surface it

Fourth, why is *forbidding a capability* considered a feature?
Forbidding the misuse of a capability, sure, I can see that as a
feature.  But every now and again I try to present math in this mailing
list, and I have two choices:

	(a) ASCII art, which doesn't render correctly on many
	    platforms, or
	(b) Embed a LaTeX image into an HTML email

We shouldn't be angry about capabilities -- we should be angry about
people using them inappropriately.

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