Experiencing Outlook XPTo make my start of 2003 even more pleasant, it turned out that my boss had bought himself a new laptop. A nice little machine that I luckily didn't have to install as it came preinstalled with Windows XP and Office XP. Unfortunatly, Outlook XP apparently sucks for formatting mails.
Bloated messagesHe sent me a simple mail, subject was "Test", the content was "Hey Jakob" and his signature. With headers the mail weighs about 1KB. The mail I received weighed 6KB - about 6 times the actual content. The reason for this inflated size is that Outlook XP per default sends its mails with both a text-version and a HTML version. A closer look reveals that the HTML version contains almost 5KB(!) HTML markup and 170 bytes actual text. (I wonder if Microsoft is planning to start selling bandwidth).
So-called HTMLWhile looking through the HTML markup, I noticed a striking resemblance to the tag soup that Word usually serves. Somehow it didn't surprise me that the HTML version does not validate (in all fairness, I might have chosen the wrong HTML version as I had to guess it). No biggie, we all use Internet Explorer for checking our mail, right? (actually, does anyone know of a survey on mail client usage? - could be interesting to see)
Enter SpamAssassinI could perhaps survive the fact that Outlook XP per default inflates the messages with invalid HTML, but the fun is only just beginning. SpamAssassin reports:
That's enough to pass my SpamAssassin treshold, marking the message as spam and rendering it more or less unreadable as my mailclient now cannot render the 5K HTML. Admittedly this is basically a selfinflicted problem, as I have opted to try to remove the masses of spam I receive.
SPAM: INVALID_MSGID (1.2 points) Message-Id is not valid, according to RFC 2822
SPAM: BIG_FONT (-0.4 points) BODY: FONT Size +2 and up or 3 and up
SPAM: HTML_70_90 (0.9 points) BODY: Message is 70-90% HTML tags
SPAM: LINK_TO_NO_SCHEME (3.7 points) BODY: Contains link without http:// prefix