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At our site we use Lotus Notes which makes a pretty poor stab at handling HTML encoded mails, so I'd like to be able to change the format for notify messages.

The easiest approach would seem to be to post-process the HTML. I've found a few perl scripts which do something like this, so I'm going to look for the one which is nearest to what's required: most of them operate on files rather than strings. Links need to be handled so that the URLs go into the generated text. When I've got something working I'll attach the script here.

Some options:-

  • mailnotify could generate both %EMAILBODY% and say %EMAILBODYTEXT%. Not efficient but flexible.
  • a plain text mail template could be supplied alongside the HTML one. A global setting would select which one is used.
  • the template could be selected at an individual user level.

-- NigelArmstrong - 25 Sep 2001

I'm don't follow all of the above. But it's common to send text and html. The text being used for an email client that can't handle mime embedded html. This isn't too expensive for relatively short messages.

-- JohnTalintyre - 25 Sep 2001

I'd second the request for this feature - we suppressed the list because of it. That said, LotusNotesVersionFive does support HTML, a fact worth knowing for if your organisation gets round to updating.

-- MartinCleaver - 25 Sep 2001

I'm confused also -- when I "view source" of the "WebNotify" email messages I get, I see two copies of the list of changes, one in plain text, one in HTML. My Netscape Navigator 3.0x email client displays the plain text version and and the HTML version.

This is strange now that I think about it, because other emails I get (from other sources) with both plain text and HTML display only the HTML. I wonder what NN triggers on to use the two different behaviors.

I'm not clear what problem Lotus Notes is having? Is it displaying the plain text first, and then a bad attempt at displaying the HTML, or is it only making the bad attempt to display the HTML. (For me a common problem with emails that display HTML only is that the font is often too small to read (without a magnifier).) I guess for me it's more a matter of curiosity than anything else, although I am campaigning to send emails in plain text only on several maillists to which I subscribe.

So why did I bring this up?

  • Maybe you don't have to postprocess the HTML (to convert it to plain text), but only filter out the HTML leaving the plain text version, or make a clever change to the "Content-type:" header.
  • Or find some secret code that triggers Lotus to look only at the plain text and not the HTML, and consider adding that as a modification to twiki.org.
  • Or a clever code that makes Lotus display the plain text and the HTML, and teach people to ignore the badly formatted HTML.

-- RandyKramer - 26 Sep 2001

Rather than filtering the HTML in a postprocessing step, why don't you just change the mailnotify template so that it doesn't generate the MIME message? That's what I did on our installation.

-- JohnStraw - 26 Sep 2001

Aha!

John, I thought at first that this would remove a lot of the useful data from the email, but thinking about it all you need is the URL of the page that would have been included.

Perhaps all that's needed then is an alternative sample mailnotify template and a reference somewhere in the documentation. (Great, now I can stop breaking my brain trying to read other people's Perl!)

-- NigelArmstrong - 27 Sep 2001

The first MIME section in the mailnotify.tmpl file has all the information the notification email needs, I think. Strip off the second section and the MIME headers and you should be in pretty good shape.

-- JohnStraw - 28 Sep 2001

How about:

  • having two mailnotify templates, mailnotify.html.tmpl and mailnotify.text.templ
  • have the administrator select the default in TWikiPreferences
  • let the user overrude in User Preferences

-- MartinCleaver - 01 Nov 2001

Perhaps we can revisit this if mailnotifier is going to become part of the core.

-- AntonAylward - 07 Mar 2005

Hello, I'm wondering if you ever got this going ? My org. is currently on Lotus Notes 6.5 (which is capable of receiving the HTML encoded emails). However, those emails come across as - in laymans terms - very ugly.

I wonder if anyone out there has devised a suitable mailnotify.tmpl for the PatternSkin that will send "pretty" emails to the WebNotify list ?

Best, of course, would be a mail template that sends emails with the same formatting as the skin, itself.

-- KeithHelfrich - 03 May 2005

i think you're looking for MailNotifyTmplUsesWrongMIMEType ?

-- WillNorris - 03 May 2005

wish that were the case, but it's not. I have applied the patch in MailNotifyTmplUsesWrongMIMEType, but the emails are still "ugly". See here the screenshot: HTML email received from mailnotify" target="_blank"/>ugly.png

Do everyone else's WebNotify emails look like this ? If so, then forgive my criticism. At home I run the KoalaSkin and the emails are wonderfully beautiful. However, at the office, with Lotus Notes 6.5 and PatternSkin, the emails look like this: HTML email received from mailnotify" target="_blank"/>ugly.png

-- KeithHelfrich - 03 May 2005

FYI, my WebNotify emails looked pretty ugly too (I'm using PatternSkin and the Cairo release). Then I installed the MailerContrib Package and now I get plain text emails. At least it's now missing the Left bar which was definitely more info than was required. I also installed the MailNotifyTmplUsesWrongMIMEType and the UseBccForNotificationEmail Fixes as well, but, other than that, I think it is just the MailerContrib ZIP file.

Hope this helps someone!

-- SteveHobbs - 19 Aug 2005

For those complaning about email appearing "ugly", I've just applied the MailNotifyTmplUsesWrongMIMEType patch. And having done this the e-mail seems to be dealt with more sensibly.

I have three options to view the mail, plain text, Original html and "Simple HTML". Now if I choose Simple HTML the email seems to be rendered without applying any stylesheets and this looks almost idential to the ugly emails referenced above.

I suspect that if your mail client isn't loading the external stylesheets then you will need to have the styles included inline rather than as an additional file to load.

-- ChrisFleming - 30 Nov 2005

Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
PNGpng ugly.png r1 manage 13.9 K 2005-05-03 - 20:04 KeithHelfrich screenshot of HTML email received from mailnotify
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Topic revision: r15 - 2005-11-30 - ChrisFleming
 
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