Email Formatting

I’m working on-and-off on an application to send financial web content direct to your email inbox. Over the next couple years we’re going to see a very large conversion as the incredible convenience of rss is generally accepted (and not scary) by the masses, but in the meantime this is really a handy service for many.

As will come as no surprise to those who have attempted this feat themselves: sending html content (with a plain text alternative) has proved to be a real bear.

We’ve had quite a bit of trouble with proper encoding – “Fancy apostrophes” look great in one client but the other inserts gobbledeegook (technical term).

Some issues with css applying correctly – Very very simple and in-line css mind you.

The most recent headache came when emails interpretted correctly in many clients were not looking so hot in gmail (and a couple others). CSS wasn’t applying (at all). Links were coming out looking like (noticing the missing “a href=h”):

Click here <ttp://′> to view article </a>

The answer this time? Remove this:
Content-Transfer-Encoding: Quoted-printable
Content-Disposition: inline

The frustrating part is why you must remove that… not sure. As many before me (I’m sure) I am working mostly from examples, in lieu of a true understanding of the intricacies of every spec there is out there on the subject. Just seems like for something like what we’re doing (really quite simple), the answer should be… well, really quite simple 🙂

Maybe it would have been worth leveraging ActionMailer outside of the Rails environment after all?


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Filed under Email, Ruby

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