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RE: [epub] another text vs html ezine question
DISCLAIMER: What follows is going to be a rather technical discussion of how
SMTP works and how alternate forms (e.g. plain text and HTML) of an email
message can be sent.  If this is not of interest to you please delete.

NOTE: As this will probably generate questions, PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND TO THE
WHOLE LIST.  In doing so you will involve a lot of people in a technical
discussion that they could probably care less about.  Instead please respond
to me directly at

My background:
I am a former developer for Microsoft who after retiring to play more drums
got an itch to do more programming.  I was tired of receiving ugly email
newsletters and decided to write a web site that would make it easy to
create, send, and manage email newsletters and ezines - both plain text and

HTML and Plain Text in a Single Email Message:
In the process of writing this web site I had to do considerable research
into how email is sent, received, and interpreted.  As a result of this
research, I elected not to try to embed both types a messages in a single
email message and instead elected to have the service create either a plain
text OR an HTML email message according to that subscriber's preference.
The reason for this is I found that email clients are incredibly a varied
lot and some are written better than others.  The better written ones will
understand an email message with alternative formats,  others will still
display the first format they find.  As it was easy for me to simply create
a plain text or HTML message (rather than trying to put both in a single
message) and I was guaranteed better compatibility, I chose the method I

That said this is how to embed both a plain text and an HTML message in a
single piece of email...

As your typical email service will not let you enter your two formats
individually, you will need to connect directly to your SMTP mail host.  You
can do this by connecting using telnet on Windows or the equivalent on a
Mac, entering the name of your OUTGOING mail server and entering 25 for the
port number.  You will want to turn on the Local/Echo so you can see what
you type. After you see the response from your SMTP server enter the
CHARACTER ALL BY ITSELF ON A NEW LINE (except for what is enclosed in braces
"{}", information in braces you will need to substitute your own
information).  If you make a mistake, using the backspace will not work -
you will have to quit and start from the beginning:

mail from: {Your email address}
rcpt to: {Your email address}

Date: Fri, 30 Mar 2001 16:35:00 -0800
From: {Your email address - but you can put anything you want here - e.g.}
To: {Your email address - but you can put anything you want here too}
Subject: Plain Text AND HTML in 1 Message
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary="-_=_Next"

This is what non-MIME compliant email readers will see

Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This is for plain text email readers. Hopefully, they will know not to
display the HTML version.  You can also place this plain text portion above
instead of the "This is what non-MIME..." line.

Content-Type: text/html; charset="us-ascii"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

This is where you can place your <B>cool</b> <I>HTML</I> version.



After you have entered the last period the mail will be sent to you and you
should type "quit" which will disconnect you from the SMTP server.  If it
doesn't work, please make sure you typed everything exactly, without using
the BACKSPACE key.  If you are still have problems please contact me
directly. If you would like more information on this, please refer to RFC's
821, 2045, 2046, 2047, 2048, and 2049 at

Clay Ver Valen
Create, send, and manage your email newsletter
or ezine at

-----Original Message-----
From: Jan Tallent-Dandridge []
Sent: Friday, March 30, 2001 3:09 PM
Subject: Re: [epub] another text vs html ezine question

I am nowhere near a guru, Carl, but I can send from Netscape mail and get
the options:
plain text
or both

aol'ers get the links when I do either plain text or both...

Jan T-D
Rim Digest merging with Internet Wealth Trainer on April 1


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