Jul 1, 2005

Mozilla Thunderbird and Plain-text Email

It’s pretty common in plain-text email messages to use little markers to set content apart in the email. For instance, to help people skim your content better, you could do something like:

=======================
Here are this month’s offers
* 10% off all orders over $100
* Buy one get one free
* Gold members get 15% off
=======================

We noticed Mozilla Thunderbird doing some interesting things with these plain-text markers… 

Got a marketing email from Hotwire.com where they used little greater-than symbols for their deals. For example:

********************
> Atlanta to NYC $125

********************

Thing is, Thunderbird interprets those >’s as reply quotes, and surrounds them with blue bars.

Look what happened when Hotwire used multiple symbols (below). Thunderbird interprets them as replies to replies to replies, and inserts blue, red, and green bars around the "quoted" text.

Not sure if this has any adverse effects, but thought it was pretty neat to get some color bars in plain-text.

Thunderbirdreplymarks_1