ASCII Ribbon Campaign Against HTML Email

ASCII Ribbon Campaign
against HTML mail, vCards and proprietary formats

online since 2000

»this trend, on the web at least, has resulted a glut of graphics heavy, worthless pages,
that take a million years to download and once you have them, you wish you hadn't wasted the time.«
gabriel helman - the semi-official, semi-serious ascii ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the web!

idea - well i'm not that strict and completely anti-graphic (to be seen on this page, for instance) as gabriel helman, but anyway i think that a lot of pages have too much graphics on them. i feel still able to protect myself from these pages by simply not browsing them. BUT! it's pretty hard to prevent yourself from receiving such formatted email. the only things they are good for is to raise my online costs, to delay their own displaying and to bloat my mail folders.

signatures - if you agree, feel free to join the movement and show this by adding it to your signature. anyway, if you like to alter the proposed signatures, feel free to do that, again.

chisseled version (4 lines)

/"
/ ASCII Ribbon Campaign
X against HTML email & vCards
/

smooth version (4 lines)

_
ASCII ribbon campaign ( )
- against HTML email X
& vCards /

corpulent version (7 lines)
sent in by retnek

_
/o
// The ASCII
// Ribbon Campaign
V/ Against HTML
/A eMail!
//

brief version (2 lines)
sent in by sergio gutiérrez santos

() ascii ribbon campaign - against html mail
/ - against microsoft attachments

monstrous version (10 lines)
sent in by scott l.

~^~
// " /
// // -------------------
@ // ///=SCII Ribbon Campaign
X /=---=gainst HTML E- Mail
X ///
// ----------------------------
//
//

undo - as a matter of stupidity (or something else - who knows), some big email programs seem to be shipped with html set to be the default mailing method. however, this (mostly) is no dogma! you can easily turn off that annoying feature. harley hahn sent in this tutorial for outlook and netscape. others may follow soon.

origin - to put this straight: i did not invent the ascii ribbon campaign, but i highly support it. i searches the web quite long, but as i did not find any pages offering signatures along with reasons and the special focus on emails, i decided to create this page.

godfather - i received a mail from dario dariol, who tried to help tracking down the origin of the signature. currently it seems to go back to mr. teixeira from brazil, but as he has changed his email address since then, we were not able to completely reveal the mystery. for the time being let's accept this as the first appearance of the ribbon:

Date: Wed, 17 Jun 1998 10:20:01 +0300 (GMT-3)
From: Mauricio Teixeira
To: redhat
Subject: Re: Space problem?
Message-ID: Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

On Wed, 17 Jun 1998, wward wrote:

> the filesystem still shows no space available. Where is the space
> I freed-up?

Sometimes the space freed-up os shown only after a reboot... I
dunno why...

__________________________________________________________________
Mauricio Teixeira - Amazonline Internet Provider - Belem/PA/Brazil
mauricio@amazonline.com.br - badman@brasnet.org
(soon!)
/"
/ CAMPANHA DA FITA ASCII - CONTRA MAIL HTML
X ASCII RIBBON CAMPAIGN - AGAINST HTML MAIL
/

brothers - fortunately this page is no longer alone in the world wide web:

*the semi-official, semi-serious ascii ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the web! (english, 1998)
*7 reasons why html e-mail is evil (english, 2000/2002)
*no html mail (english, 2003?)
*losderover.be (dutch, 2003)
*ascii ribbon campaign (german, 2004)
*ascii ribbon campaign (english, basically a mirror of my page)


Another very similar page. Possibly updated from this first page.


ASCII Ribbon Campaign
against HTML e-mail and proprietary formats

"...this trend, on the web at least, has resulted a glut of graphics heavy, worthless pages,
that take a million years to download and once you have them, you wish you hadn't wasted the time."
gabriel helman - the semi-official, semi-serious ascii ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the web

"There are many people who prefer not to receive HTML email, some who find it to be a personal inconvenience, and others who must literally pay for the greater bandwidth consumed by HTML email. All of these considerations become particularly strong on newsgroups and mailing lists (with their great variety of participants from around the world), where the use of HTML email is often considered ignorant or rude."
Alan G. Isaac - HTML Email: Whenever Possible, Turn It Off!

the concept - simply put, HTML e-mail is gets in the way of effective communication. There's a time and a place for everything, and the time and place for graphics, animation, and fancy fonts is the web (although Gabriel Helman would disagree with me on that score!). E-mail is -- and should remain -- a plaintext medium. Why? Because e-mail is a communication medium, and a good one. In order for a communication medium to work effectively, it has to be understood. All e-mail programs can display plaintext in a readable fashion, but they can't all display HTML meaningfully. Chances are at least 50/50 that any HTML e-mail I receive gets deleted before it's opened, so, if you really want to get my attention, send me plaintext.

what's more - some people extend this to the Web and to vCards. I don't. The Web can do what it likes, and I find vCards useful.

signatures - if you agree, feel free to join the movement and show this by adding an ASCII ribbon to your signature, or come up with your own (if you do, drop me a line, I'd love to see it).

chisseled version (4 lines)

/"
/ ASCII Ribbon Campaign
X against HTML e-mail
/

smooth version (4 lines)

_
ASCII ribbon campaign ( )
against HTML e-mail X
/

brief version (2 lines)

() ascii ribbon campaign - against html e-mail
/ - against microsoft attachments

Scott L.'s BIG version (10 lines)

~^~
// " /
// // -------------------
@ // ///=SCII Ribbon Campaign
X /=---=gainst HTML E- Mail
X ///
// ----------------------------
//
//

oops - Some poplar e-mail programs seem to be shipped with html set to be the default mailing method. This means that some people don't even realize they're participating in this heinous act (which, by the way, makes you look like an Internet newbie!) You can easily turn off that annoying feature. Here is a tutorial for Outlook and Netscape.

Copyright ©2005 Ben Steeves. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

The Semi-Official, Semi-Serious ASCII Ribbon Campaign

This is the old link. Still up, but no updates in a long time. The spelling, punctuation and grammar as all unchanged from the original site. However, the list of connecting sites (2 of them) were dead links.

 

THE SEMI-OFFICIAL, SEMI-SERIOUS

 

ASCII RIBBON CAMPAIGN

 

AGAINST GRATUITOUS GRAPHICS ON THE WEB!

 


I have noticed a disturbing trend in software of late, a trend exemplified in the Web. This is the tendency to decide that if you have enough cool looking graphics, you don’t have to have any real content. This trend, on the web at least, has resulted a glut of graphics heavy, worthless pages, that take a million years to download and once you have them, you wish you hadn’t wasted the time, and don’t even get me started on PC games!

WELL, I SAY NO MORE!

This is the ASCII ribbon campaign against gratuitous graphics on the internet! If you are interested in joining the crusade, put the following messsage on you page (or something like it, you get the idea):

– – – –

 

This page supports the ASCII ribbon campaign!

As a protest to the current trend towards all flash and no substance in modern software, this page will remain graphics free and concentrate only on content. Thank you.

– – – –

Since we don’t have a lot of graphics, and I can’t get a ribbon made out of text charicters to appear right on the page, this will have to do. Suggestions that we make a jpeg file of a ribbon made from ascii charicters were given the silent distain they deserved.

We ask that anyone supporting the campaign place minimal graphics, or none at all. however, I must reinforce that useful, intelligent use of graphics are okay, and are actually really cool. So, support the campaign, my fridends! We will prevail yet!

NEW DEVELOPMENTS:

It has come to the attention of the campaign that imbedded sound files and frames can seriosusly slow page load times. These things, less common when the campaign was started, are slowly becoming mre prevalent. While the campaign is not against them just yet, it does preach serious caution when implementing these features. Pass the word!

 


 

LIST OF SITES SUPPORING THE CAMPAIGN

From the Original Respect ASCII Artists Campaign Page (now 404)

What is the “Respect ASCII Artists Campaign”? Well, it’s something that I decided to do not long after a few things happened that I didn’t agree with. When an ascii artist draws any art, that art is rightfully theirs. No other person has a right to claim the art. Most ascii artists will tag their art in some for or another. Such as…

Link With This Ribbon

Yeah! I got the SnowGlobe back up! LoL This SnowGlobe for instance, was made by Joan Stark. Her tag is the jgs. This is how people know that the ascii was drawn by her. When an artist colors it, for example how I colored it. The tag must always stay with that ascii art. Even if hidden within the color, the art is still tagged and people will know what artist drew it.

Not only does the respect go towards the ascii art. We can go a bit further with their popup files. Anything really, not belonging to you should not be changed without prior consent of that particular artist or creator. It’s just common sense and respect towards others.

Many people get confused about copyright laws and what they mean, I’ve included a few links below to let you know exactly what they are. They are important not only to the ASCII artists, but to any artist who creates. Such as…an artist who creates graphics for you to use on your websites. Give all artists the respect of a simple link back to their pages. All it takes is one or two lines of code. That’s all. Just like the tag on any ASCII art, link back to a graphic artist as well. They will thank you for it. If you don’t know who the graphic or ascii was made by….then kindly state that somewhere in the ascii art or on the website. If that artist sees it, they will be able to let you know. But in the mean time, just make sure that you give due credit.

Internet copyright Information
Intellectual Property Law Primer

Now… Hopefully, I have explain myself well enough for you to understand what point I am trying to make. It’s just important to give credit where the credit is due…just do the right thing. If you wish to support this cause, please download the ribbon to your own server and upload it with a link back to this page. Let’s let others know what this is all about. Thanks, and feel free to email me if you wish and I’ll put you on the list of supporters. Let’s do if for the artists as well as ourselves. We owe that to them.