Re: HTML for email

Phillip Hallam-Baker <> Tue, 02 March 2021 17:52 UTC

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From: Phillip Hallam-Baker <>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2021 12:52:45 -0500
Message-ID: <>
Subject: Re: HTML for email
To: Keith Moore <>
Cc: tom petch <>, IETF Discussion Mailing List <>
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On Tue, Mar 2, 2021 at 12:39 PM Keith Moore <>

> Anybody can design a system that's theoretically better than any existing
> system if they are smart enough and work hard enough.   The trick is to get
> everyone else to go along with it.   And to displace something that
> actually exists and is working, the new system has to be MUCH better than
> the old.   The more widely deployed the existing system is, the harder it
> is to replace it.   And incremental changes are not as pure as a clean
> sheet design, they are usually easier to deploy.
The difference between what I am doing with the Mesh and what TimBL is
doing on Solid is that he is just being himself and hoping that will be
enough to be successful and I spent the best part of a decade working out
why the Web succeeded and I designed the Mesh so to maximize the
probability of success.

TimBL might well be successful a second time. But it is pretty clear that
if either of us starts to pull ahead, they will quickly absorb what is
useful from the other. That was also a part of the success of the Web. Will
either succeed? Probably not but we have both been successful in deploying
very large systems in the past. Nobody can be sure of success.

What I am certain of though is that failure is certain if nobody bothers to
try. It is pretty easy to see where the Internet is headed at this point.
The Web is the only open system that hasn't fallen into disrepair. The user
base is headed off to the walled gardens because those are at least being
maintained. The only thing that stops the phone system and SMTP becoming
derelict is they are the only ubiquitous communications systems in use.