Plain text vs. HTML in e-mails

Ben has started a quite interesting discussion over on about what e-mail format people prefer: Plain text or HTML.

And I was pretty shocked when noticing that more people preferred HTML. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against HTML per se, but I simply can’t stand it when it’s about e-mails and just like ManInTheFatSuit there I even consider it rude when someone sends me an HTML mail.

People over there noted things like colors, simple formating etc. as the advantages of HTML. Ok, italic and bold text I can understand, but why do you want to use pink text? All this formating most of the time just gets in the way of expressing and understanding the actual content. Someone even said that plain text doesn’t support emails. Uhm … It does as long as the e-mail client recognizes certain string patterns as URLs … Just like it does with HTML, so I miss the point here ;-)

What is your opinion about this?

I’m not even slowly changing the way I post on bulletin board to the way I write in mailing lists (using references like [1] for links) simply because I prefer to read this way just as I like to read papers this way. It’s in my opinion a less aggressive way to introduce a link to a different page compared to an underlines, blue text ;-)