In the meantime rich formatted mails were permitted to aegee-l. This flexibily was misused, when very coloured mails started circulating over the list. The many colours circumvented the discussions, and were disabled.
In September 2005 aegee-europe-announce-l was created, with similar ideas, as you can see from its welcome-mail:
This mailing list is meant to inform you about the latest happenings in AEGEE. Please, take note that you cannot post to this list, also discussions on certain topics should rather be done on AEGEE-L, the main discussion forum of our association.
Through this list, we are going to send you pure information like:
- Open calls for positions in AEGEE bodies and projects
- Information about big projects of AEGEE
- Announcements of mayor events (e.g. Statutory meetings)
- Information about training courses (external as well as internal)
Today, there is lack for a mailing list, that spreads just information about the activity of the global players in AEGEE, and nothing more. Here is it: announce-l. Used with wisdom, it can be made attractive for subscriptions.
Next comes the form. Put in the beginning of your message one line per mentioned topic, as a kind of contents. Delimit the following paragraphs by an empty line. Separate visually the topics in the mail, e.g. by two empty lines.
The mails can contain a html part, allowing good design and improving the visual acceptance. Upload in internet all the pictures and documents that need to be referenced from your mail. Choose your favourite web designer to make your mails beautiful. The result at this stage shall be a webpage, that can be viewed in a browser. Opening the same one .html file from different computers ensures that no pictures are referenced on your computer. Otherwise people who do not read the emails using your harddisk will not be able to see the images. A proof that the mail will look in the same way using different software is, if it looks in the same manner using even different browsers.
Apart from the A-Z, 0-9 characters you might want to include some non-ASCII symbols, like Б or Д The problem is, that the characters might be displayed incorrectly, if not enough information is included in your mail. For special Characters in plain text, write your mail keeping the same charset over the whole mail. Then include the charset in the content-type mail header/mime part, like: Content-Type: text/plain; charset=utf-8. UTF-8 is always good character set, since it can represent any character. Many mail clients will however ignore the specified charset and will show your mail with the system's default one. There is nothing more that can be done to solve this issue.
If it comes to special characters in the HTML part the same problem arizes, but it can be solved. When displayng characters in HTML, the charset can be sent to the webbrowser by HTTP headers, or in case of e-mail, the charset is included in the Content-Type of the MIME part. The charset can also be specified in the <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8; > html tag. Regardless how you announce it, most browser-based mail clients will ignore the information. HTML allows an alternative way to represent charachters, using the &#xxxx; character entities. Transform all non-ASCII characters for the HTML part.
With all this into mind, prepare the mail. I was not able to find a mail client, that allows independant design for the html and plain text part, here is an incomplete list of solutions which are flexible enough for all kind of html mails. Suggestions for amendments are welcome.
Preparing and sending great e-mails is science by itself. The non-AEGEE Public Relations Working Group and the non-AEGEE Information Technology Working Group are at your disposal, whenever you need advice.
check if the base64 trick is still of advantage (Marino asked)
include more ways to compose html mails that allow a bit different content in the plain and html part.
find some guidelines of what good design is (Virag asked)
include in http://www.karl.aegee.org/aeg-web.nsf/Full/Office--Mailinglists
provide online tool (webpage) for convenient conversion of character entities (ask Mitko for his and tweak it to leave untouched < and >)
provide online tool for convenient sending of formatted emails: webpage with the fields:
that sends the mails, upon authentication with aegee.org account. From all fields, only the html-part and reply-to may be left empty. Ideally provide a way to specify the charset for the text part, or recognize it based on the sent web-page, do iconv on it to utf-8; incorporate the character entities tool here and sent the mail composed in this way.