stupid email generators, volume n+1

Every day, I see another stupid, broken email generated by crappy software used by a company that I’d think would know better. Today, the perpetrator was Nintendo. They wanted me to take a survey. I took it, because they promised me some sort of Zelda-themed stylus. I almost didn’t know that, though, because when I opened the message, it was empty. Huh?

It looked like it was from Nintendo, so I investigated a little more and cheecked the message structure:

1 <no description>                     [multipa/alternativ, 7bit, 2.8K]
2 |-><no description>                  [text/plain, 7bit, us-ascii, 0K]
3 +-><no description>             [text/html, 7bit, windows-1252, 2.7K]

So, the message is multipart/alternative, which is meant to let my mail client display one of many representations of a message. Here, Nintendo is offering me a plaintext part and an HTML part. See the problem?

The plaintext part is zero bytes! There’s nothing in it. Why is it there?

If there had been no alternative, my MUA would’ve said, “Well, I can’t find a plaintext part, I’ll produce plaintext from the HTML.” Instead, it said, “Great, the sender offered a plaintext alternative, I’ll use that!”

Argh, people! Argh!

Written on February 29, 2008
email   stupid