He’s about to make it virtually impossible to send out html newsletters.
Half of my working time is spent sending out html newsletters. Up till now they’ve been pretty laborious to create, because Outlook and several other email clients require one to programme in very old style html, using embedded css and tables within tables within tables, in order for them to render the design properly.
This in itself makes for very clumsy code and hours of tweaking, swearing and cursing before you get anything in Outlook that even resembles your design in el “browser of choice” (I use Firefox…obviously). Now, as someone who is relatively new to web design, I was just beginning to think I had Html taped. I designed some pretty webpages, with all sorts of interesting features and graphics and cool stuff. Then I started designing a new, flashy template for our weekly newsletter, which (to be frank) was utter crap.
All well and good, I start designing and instead of using tables and so forth, I used floating divs an all, courtesy of some much appreciated help (and saint-like patience) from Jayx. Looked great in IE and da fox, maar, put that sucker into an email and one thing happens…MANGLE, schmangle, break, die, etc, etc. Then another thing happens…scream, shout, rail against the fate that conspired to bring my life to this lowly hell, go drinking, get pissed, forget why I was cross in the first place, wake up with a hangover, get to work and remember.
Not to let this get me down, I do some research and find out about the problems with email clients (which frankly, should have…errr…caught up by now?), redesign the template so that it works, and here’s the crux, switch the sending mode to html in Outlook. And yippeeeee!! It works like a bomb, everyone’s happy and we have a really spiffy new template with which to send out our 8 different periodicals.
So where’s the problem? According to Kevin Yank in the Sitepoint Design View Newsletter (really exellent rag, by the way): “Up till now, both Outlook and Outlook Express have borrowed IE’s rendering engine to display HTML email. However, with the release of Outlook 2007, Microsoft intend to use MS Word’s rendering engine…This sounds reasonable on the surface … until you consider that MS Word doesn’t support a huge swathe of the HTML and CSS spec that the IE rendering engine does.
Outlook 2007′s biggest deficiencies will include:
- no support for background graphics whatsoever (either CSS or HTML)
- no support for floats or other complex positioning methods
- no forms support
- background colors in table cells are applied only to the highest-level table; lower tables ignore background color declarations completely.”
So use an external email client, they advise. Not so easy if your server is only compatible with MS OUtlook and your techie (on behalf of management) refuses to consider “other options”.
Anyway, thanks Bill, I can only hope that the powers that be are as slow to get Windows Vista as they were to get the last update available (should give me about 5 problem free years), and that your pants split at an inconvenient moment (prefferably on television).