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Is Thunderbird a HTML reader ?

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patrick013
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Is Thunderbird a HTML reader ?

Is Thunderbird an HTML email reader ? No matter which reader I use, Windows Live, Thunderbird, or SeaMonkey, I cannot view email offline with images displayed. Gmail looks great but offline reading at home is completely imageless. I'm letting images thru without blocking, etc. but it just doesn't want to work offline.

Is there a configuration switch somewhere I am missing ?

THX.

po13

Chris Morgan
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Images online

If the images referenced in an HTML file are not attached to the email and just references to an online address, no email client will cache them for off-line usage.

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patrick013
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images online/offline

Thanks, I didn't know that. Some simple HTML's get thru but the really nice ones
like buy.com catalog newsletter never get thru offline. I will not expect them to.

THX

p013

solanus
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Not exactly

It's not about simple or really nice, it's about where the images are stored. If you get an HTML e-mail with an embedded or attached image, where the actual image is sent with the email, it will be cached and available after you go offline.
But most well-designed newsletters do not send the images along with the e-mail, but instead link the image tag to an image on the internet. They do this so that they don't send out gigantic e-mails (those images take up space).
Take a look at the source code for the e-mails from buy.com, the IMG tags will reference a web location.

BTW, nothing actually gets thru when you are offline! Wink

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Darkbee
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Tracking use as well

Also so they can generate statistics based on what images were served and to whom.

patrick013
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not exactly

I'm not a programmer so source code is kinda boring unless it's a report writer I'm used to using. I understand what you're saying. The HTML's that get thru are
like HTML form letters with stationary forms to fill out. Nice to read in full color. What's confusing is some of the buy.com newsletters get thru offline and others don't. I must open it up and Thunderbird caches it, others I don't open up online and they will not open up offline in full color, never cache'd. Well it works better than Windows Live. Nothing to worry about.

THX

p013

Jimbo
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Not quite

OK, see if I can explain this.

The type of HTML email you are talking about always uses images to show the full colour and pretty bits and stuff, but there are two different places that the images can be.

They can send out an email with all the html, and every single image in it embedded in the email that they send as attachment, so it stands completely on its own. This makes for BIG emails, but you can view them off-line since all that you need to show to see them is actually in the email.

Alternatively, they can send out just the HTML as the email, and put all the images on their web server. This makes for much smaller emails, so they're quicker to send, and quicker for you to download, and store, etc. If you are connected to the net when you view them, then your email client can easily grab the images from the web server and display them, just as it happens when you view a web page. However, if you are not connected, then the images aren't available, and you see a mess on screen.

Marketing companies love the second method, since their web logs tell them how many people are reading the mail, and when, and, if they get clever and embed a unique image (by name) in each person's email, they can even tell who is reading the mail. Even more so, spammers can use this technique to validate email addresses as being real, which makes them worth more to resell. This is what someone was referring to as tracking above.

It is because of this tracking issue that many / most modern email clients default to not downloading images to view them even when you are on-line, until you click a button that says show images, or some such.

So there is no caching involved. Just that some people send you the images with the mail, and others want to spy on what you're doing, so leave the images on their server for you to ask for every time you view the mail.

ottosykora
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nice text again

as so often, Jimbo was again able to put the things so clear and understandable here.

Someone should really start pasting this nice and clear lectures into some kind of wiki.

Jimbo, are you professional teacher or similar?

Otto Sykora
Basel, Switzerland

patrick013
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Images

I'll read Jimbo's reply twice. Completely answers the question you know.

THX

p013

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