If you read technical news and blogs (read for example HTML Standards Process Returning from the Grave from Surfin’ Safari) around the net you should by now know that the HTML Working group has been re-chartered until 2010!
You will certainly know that it has been a highly debated topic between supporters of the evolution of HTML and the supporters of XHTML as the next version of HTML, that is to say that HTML is dead.
On the other side Daniel Glazman has raised a very interested topic which is the HTML in e-mail. It did not get into the charter, but at least we had a new public mailing list to discuss and hopefully get our voice heard in the group. Read from Daniel’s pen, “HTML in email” W3C mailing-list.
I have never been a fan of HTML in e-mail, but I agree with him that it can be a very important tool for promotional purposes and not only. There is not only spam, there are also valid e-mails, newsletters and mailing lists in which HTML is appropriate and provides an extra tool for formatting and layout.
XHTML and CSS could be the markup and styling too, of course, but if the web browsers are far from being strict, e-mail clients were not born for HTML and XHTML and their support for the standards is often poor.
This mailing list is NOT to complain about spam or unwanted HTML, but it is to suggest a viable, satisfying solution for a secure and quality implementation of markup and style in e-mail.
It would be dumb to create a new markup specific for e-mail when we already have 4 major versions of HTML, 2 major versions of XHTML, 3 major versions of CSS and a number of minor versions. Let’s just agree on something that can work for everyone!
This said, I invite everyone that thinks to have constructive proposals on this topic to check out the online archive of public-html-mail, join and let your voice heard (even to say that XHTML should be used).