Creating HTML Announce messages?


#1

How do people create HTML content, with embedded pictures, for a nicely-formatted Announce list message? I’m looking for a way for people who are not technically proficient to create and send nice-looking newsletters. Uploading pics via FTP is not practical.

Currently, this is being done by creating the newsletter in an email client, then sending it to a Mailman list. The info on DH discussion lists says that they are not to be used for newsletters and announcements, though, so I guess that’s not possible here.

TIA for any help.

  • Stoney

#2

I read the KB info, and searched this forum for “announce” before posting my question. The KB just says that you can send html, and how to upload pictures. It does not suggest a way to create the HTML with embedded pictures in a way that can be pasted into the Announce list text field.

My question could also be asked as: It it appropriate for me to inflict this web submission form on non-technical users, who have been coping ok with emailing their HTML to a Mailman list? What should I tell them to do to create the message to be posted?

One possibility is for them to email their HTML message to themselves, then copy the raw source into the text form. This raises a secondary question: Can multipart mime-formatted content be pasted into the text field, or is this able to cope with only basic HTML formatting, thus precluding embedded images?


#3

To send HTML messages from our announcement list system the images would have to be hosted on a web server somewhere so they could be linked to within the email message. You cannot paste in the raw MIME. Sending the images as attachments is generally a bad idea because it imposes all the extra bandwidth on the recipient of the newsletter whether they want it or not.

However, it is much easier for a relatively unskilled person to send the newsletter with the images as attachments. I agree with you there.

For a relatively small list, our discussion list Mailman system is generally ok to use for announcement type lists. Larger lists do not work especially well within our Mailman framework because they can slow down other email delivery. I don’t know how large your lists is, but Mailman can probably easily handle lists up to maybe 1000 recipients. We officially don’t support it and discourage it, but if our own announcement list system does not meet your technical requirements you can use the discussion list system.

Note that you must read and follow our spam policy with any bulk email. We have fairly strict guidelines designed to protect you from any complaints as well as protect our network from being blocked. You can see that here:

http://www.dreamhost.com/spam.html

I encourage you to consider thinking of a way to enable your non-technical users to send these announcements without attaching all of the images. Attaching the images is sort of bad Internet etiquette as it forces every recipient to download the images no matter what connection they are using and whether they want to or not.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder

#4

Thanks for that informative reply. These lists are small, with the one needing an image about 100 people. The image is just a small logo.

I encourage DreamHost to set up some way for people to email submissions to the announce list. But it seems that using a Mailman list will do for this case.

Do you know of an existing script (CGI) that would allow someone to create a web page on their desktop, upload it with the image files, and have the script park the images somewhere and submit the html to the Announce list? This depends on it being possible to script submissions to an Announce list, and I doubt that’s possible.


#5

Allowing users to email to the announcement list system has been on the to-do list for awhile, but we haven’t gotten to it yet. You may want to add a suggestion for it or vote on a suggestion if there already is one. We do pay attention to those votes, though it isn’t a strictly democractic system.

And, I do not know of a script of that sort, no. Submitting to our announcement list system via a script is not possible for mainly the same reasons as submitting via email is not… proper authentication of the message sender. We need to be absolutely sure it cannot be hijacked by spammers. Things were much simpler before spam came along. We have a technique in mind for email-based submission but we have to implement it and hammer at it to see if it will work for our needs.

  • Dallas
  • DreamHost Head Honcho/Founder

#6

There’s a suggestion for letting authorized users to send to the announcement list via email. (I voted for it already).

There’s also a suggestion to allow users to create reusable templates that people can use to send out to their lists. This would be very good for having an orgizational logo at the top of all emails, for example. (I voted for this one already, too).


#7

As this appears the most informed recent discussion on this matter, I’ll reply here with a ‘me too’ and another (set) of votes on the suggestions in question.

I also have a relatively tech-illiterate client who requires sending templated html email to a list. The only way to implement this at the moment is through use of a modified (moderated) mailman list as an announcement list. The list will stay well below 1000 members, and I’m glad to find Dallas’s (reserved) endorsement of breaking the rules for small lists.

As poor etiquette as it may be ( i filter all email to plaintext ), image embedded email is something of an expected norm for many neophyte clients. Looking forward to functionality added to your custom announce list structure.

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