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Search - "html emails"
Spaces Vs Tabs - A real world case.
So one of the menial tasks I was given here was to take a pretty mock and turn it into an HTML email template. Needless to say, I hate emails and HTML.
After many weeks of trial and error, rejection and tweaks, we're doing our final tests when someone noticed that Google's clients are chopping off the footer and saying "View Full Email".
A few searches yield that Google has a 102KB cut off for email size. We did some checks and found that we were at 104KB. I immediately thought it was my CSS inliner being a little too verbose, but as I went in to edit things, I noticed that the file was intended with spaces!
Now I'm a fan of Silicon Valley, and I recalled an episode from this past season where Richard mentioned something about saving file size by using tabs. I had never really considered that point.
So I went back into VSCode and told it to convert all of the individual templates that make up this giant email to indent with tabs...
The file size dropped from 104kb to 82kb.
I wasn't very polarized on the Tabs vs Spaces debate, but this here has given me a nice real world example as to why tabs rule.22
How do I un-idiot my users when it comes to clicking on dodgy email-links??
Got a forwarded email just there from a user who said;
Is the below ok to open?
I just tried but got a popup saying I've been blocked from opening it.
I'm not sure who it is coming from and I am not waiting on anything but as it says its from dropbox and is important, i know it's okay.
Can you unblock the link ASAP please?
This is really impeding my work-day as I need to know what it is and act accordingly.
The Original email came from a random jumble of letters with a subject line of 'important dropbox program' - not only does it look dodgy but its english is horrible! It said;
"Hi tu my freind,
You tu still read a pending verrry important document sent by one of your own contact to be vieweddd.
Install "Highly Confidential english.pdf" by clickinggg here
*insert link leading to something called 'viral-update-trojan.exe'*"
I mean, seriously... help!!! 😢
We have sent emails explaining how to hover over links and to not to click them if it looks wrong.
No one does it.
We hired a company to send fake phishing emails to train users in what to do.
It made no difference!
We now make people 'verify' their email addresses when opening any sort of link to try get them to actually look at what they're opening.
We also strip emails of original attachments and create 'safe' html copies as we can't trust them to look at what they're opening.
Everyone complains about it but Jesus Christ, this is why!!!
Its so exhausting!! What is wrong with people!!! Argh!!! 😤16
I finally did it. I finally got rid of that client in a positive, respectful manner.
So basically, my dad has a freelance colleague. For a side project that person asked me to make him a website. My dad mentioned to said person that my sister's boyfriend does web design (he's trained to use autocad for designing the structure of furniture, nothing fancy just straight lines and upside down doors that fail after a while..
So my brother in law charged the guy 400 money for the design. I charged the guy 200 for the programming because my dad forced me to drop down my price to fit the budget because business relationship and he obviously couldn't let my sister's boyfriend not make more money than he deserves.
In the end after waiting on the design for weeks (I literally saw him do it in photoshop all in 2 layers on his laptop in half an hour) I had to rush the project because the due date was coming up. I already had most of it done but I had to redo a good part of the front-end to fit the design structure. I also had to re-do the design in photoshop to get the images and colors I needed, then cut it up into html. So realistically, my sister's boyfriend barely did anything.
Now the deal was that I'd develop the website and perform any updates/upgrades to it. I'd also host it on my webserver for a monthly fee. My sister's boyfriend was to handle any and all content related support.
At first it was all good, I only ever spoke with the guy when he needed a feature added and he paid me well for it. Overall the hit I took in initial development was paying off. As time went by, my sister's boyfriend started ignoring the guy's calls and the guy started calling me instead.
Now, he had this deal with my brother in law where he could charge his time at 35 money an hour. That's about 4 times minimum wage for not doing much.
Then I started to basically take over all support, but I was only allowed to charge 30 an hour. Pretty reasonable still and I wasn't too busy so it was all good.
As time went by I ended up getting asked to do more and more minimal changes. At some point I had done so many minimal changes I had to charge the guy about 2 hours extra that month and he went completely mental saying I can't just work for hours without telling him beforehand. We decided I had to discuss a price before any change. I charged my time on the phone with him twice after that and both times he bitched about me being expensive and once he even said he wanted to leave.
Now comes the fun part. A week ago he had an issue that was 100% support related. He tried calling my sister's boyfriend but the guy obviously didn't pick up. He called my dad about it, and my dad ended up calling my my sister's boyfriend. Now this guy is so slimy, he purposely didn't hang up the phone knowing my dad would use his cell and assume the other party would hang up because calls cost money. The guy heard my dad call my sister's boyfriend and heard him pick up immediately. He went completely mental saying how he wants both of us to always reply and call him back immediately.
This guy was always my lowest priority. He didn't really make me money and his calls and requests were annoying and unnecessary. Add to that that I specifically didn't want to handle support and was forced into it anyway, while all 'design' things (up to figuring out where and how to display a visitor counter) absolutely had to go to my sister's boyfriend..
But regardless of that, I generally replied to his emails within 10-20 minutes and rarely more than 25 hours.
My dad agreed (for us) that we now both had to reply to him within 24 hours. I was now stuck checking my voicemail every couple hours because my sister's boyfriend sucks at life.
During his rant he threatened to leave me, again. That was the point where I said fuck it.
For the past week I've been ignoring his calls. When he emails me I don't take more than 5 minutes replying. This morning I found an e-mail with 4 requests;
He wanted me to make a content-related change;
He wanted me to give him access to the site's Google analytics;
He wanted me to add a feature and write a guide on how to use it;
And fucking finally, he wanted a 'token to transfer his website'.
I promptly emailed him back saying I added his email a week ago and that he'd gotten an email from Google about it then, that I'd changed the content he wanted me to, a price for the last dev task and a token for his domain name, adding that its valid for 35 days and that his new host can contact me to receive a backup file of his website.
Sadly, I do have this on 10-minute dev job to do, but then I'm invoicing him all jobs I haven't invoiced yet and he can find another host willing to deal with his insanity.
The best part is I lose a webhosting client but I'm sure he'll still ask my sister's bitched parasitic boyfriend whenever he needs a photo resized and he'll still pay him 35 money for 2 minutes of work.
Forget about Internet explorer compatibility, EMAIL TEMPLATES are the actual worst. Outlook uses the same html rendering engine as MS WORD. It's sooo painful. All the bad practices you had to do 15 years ago, you have to do when you write email templates.
YOU WILL NOT KNOW PAIN until you have to make an email template, that works in Gmail, Yahoo Mail, OUTLOOK, outlook.com, outlook for mac, MOBILE, Android, the gmail app, IOS, apple mail, and so on. And after you make an unholy abomination of table garbage, then having to make it responsive/mobile friendly after all that!
If something is broken in one client, fixing it will break something in a different client! And then having to take a stab in the dark to try to fix it and then sending yet another test email (which costs $ per test)
I must have slashed decades off my life having to build email templates. It really is horrendous. There are frameworks like Zurb for email that at least let you feel like you're using a modern workflow. But things break just as often.
Honestly if you have the option, use a wysiwyg editor for building emails. At least when it does break (and they all will) you can at least blame the software.
Which is better than spending 4 hours on why that table cell doesn't line up correctly in outlook.7
I remember that time, when a pretty big customer bought a tiny server from us and proceeded with setting up their tiny website.
Everything went smooth a smoothsauce until that day they decided to send a newsletter to 3 million subscribers - a complete nice email with alot of html and elements that was hosted on that tiny server.
The fact that most phones do download the emails with the attachment (pictures, html and shit) when the email arrive did they not know about. But sure - they atleast learnt something that day.
That shitty server died.2
WHY THE FUCK are HTML emails such a pain in the ass. I now feel extra sorry for all the devs out there that have to make those things for them to simply annoy people12
"Ok,. so your saying that its gonna take you 63 hrs to create a simplified CRM with basic functionality and auto fill docs or automated work flow docs as an added feature?"
My response (after already under-quoting and planning on cutting some corners because he has a smaller budget than normally necessary):
"It sounds simpler than it is. There are a lot of things I need to take into account that you wouldn't even think about.
Making sure your emails don't go to the client's spam folder. This requires the sending domain to be verified via DNS settings. I have to ensure your email content passes a spam test (link to text ratio needs to be good). I assumed you'd want an email that has your logo and looks good. This means testing the design in Outlook to make sure it's not broken.
What if the email doesn't send due to an invalid email address, or bounces back? You'll need to be notified.
What if the client list for the week contains duplicates? You need them merged or ignored.
Generating a PDF from HTML can be tricky because the conversion isn't apples to apples so there are things I need to adjust to make them as close as possible.
Making a site completely mobile friendly (the tier 3 option) can be very time consuming as well. It's not about whether or not it fits on a mobile phone, it's about whether or not it's intuitive and useful. You're essentially getting a mobile app without paying for separate development of an app.
If I took everything into consideration and built this to be 100% bullet proof, it would cost tens of thousands.
I'm doing my best to leverage your needs with the probability of running into an issue. I'm not going waste my time/your money on something that will likely never happen."10
Project Cortana: Day 56
*What I liked*
Here is the rant where I described the project: https://devrant.io/rants/962190
Time for a review. The biggest advantage I have found was the productivity. Let me explain:
1. Cortana: It's useful as fuck if anyone is willing to use it all the time. It really helps to get reminders and notifications everywhere (PC, Laptop and Mobile).
2. Microsoft Launcher: An underrated gem due to the hate towards M$. Thanks to it's transparent theme, it looks absolutely gorgeous. The most useful part is the "Feed" where you get all your emails, recently edited documents, recently used apps or contacts all together. I was quite surprised to see the level of customization if offered considering it's M$.
3. M$ Office: I probably don't need to talk much about it, it's the most productive tool you can get. Outlook is fucking brilliant on mobile. Other office apps, while they are great on mobile, are probably more useful in tablets. And the "Focused Inbox" is the best thing happened to outlook.
4. M$ To-Do: Holy fuck, this is sick. I know that there is many alternative with more features. But this app is the perfect example of a todo app. Simple, has the exact right features and has a really smooth, beautiful UI. This really helped me to be productive.
5. OneDrive: Didn't find much difference compared to Google Drive.
6. People: Something that I discovered later and found it really useful. You can pin contacts in the taskbar and see emails, calender items associated with that contact in one click. Found it really useful considering I was chatting with my Supervisor and lectures quite frequently.
7. Windows Mail App: While I really like it, I have mixed feeling about it. I would really love to have HTML signature. Not sure why M$ is not implementing it. But the "Share" in the Context Menu is really useful while sending attachements.
Finally, the "Fluid Design" so far is beautiful. Loving the effects.
I will write what I didn't like in the next rant.16
Email piping chat system.
The chat system had to take replies from web and send them to an email, which the admin user can reply back via email and it publishes straight into the chat.
It was all fun and games until they wanted HTML based emails and content going back and forth, and attachments going both ways.4
Once she asked me "Why don't we just upgrade the HTML version?" as in "upgrade our system".
There were more such gems from her, but I think this one was the ultimate.
Background Info: We make emails and to support as much clients as possible you gotta go with the real oldschool html 4.1.😒
Client wants a webapp where every label on all form inputs are configurable, even the fucking login form ("Login" and "Password" text)
They also want it to send emails where the message is configurable too (they can insert your own HTML)
so basically they want the entire fucking webapp to be configurable, all without requiring any code change.
I could use a "configurable" torture device right now.9
God fucking damnit automating a client's "Job applicant form" system is the most boring shit l've ever done.
Get me some damn monkeys to do this
"Oh OK so I just have to take this form and turn it into HTML. Oh shit, 25 check box's, let's just copy paste this shit in over and over. Oh damn, forgot I have to change the name and value fields for each one. God damnit this is boring, I guess I have to"
Fucking hell it's annoying work, Boring, easy, no thought needed. Ended up turning this task into a drinking game. Every time the word "Management" came up, I took a shot. Got me pretty fucked up.
Client emails back; "Oh ya, I forgot to tell you, we have these 3 other forms we want you to automate".
Well fuck at this point I feel like more of an alcoholic than a developer.5
So ok here it is, as asked in the comments.
Setting: customer (huge electronics chain) wants a huge migration from custom software to SAP erp, hybris commere for b2b and ... azure cloud
Timeframe: ~10 months….
My colleague and me had the glorious task to make the evaluation result of the B2B approval process (like you can only buy up till € 1000, then someone has to approve) available in the cart view, not just the end of the checkout. Well I though, easy, we have the results, just put them in the cart … hmm :-\
The whole thing is that the the storefront - called accelerator (although it should rather be called decelerator) is a 10-year old (looking) buggy interface, that promises to the customers, that it solves all their problems and just needs some minor customization. Fact is, it’s an abomination, which makes us spend 2 months in every project to „ripp it apart“ and fix/repair/rebuild major functionality (which changes every 6 months because of „updates“.
After a week of reading the scarce (aka non-existing) docs and decompiling and debugging hybris code, we found out (besides dozends of bugs) that this is not going to be easy. The domain model is fucked up - both CartModel and OrderModel extend AbstractOrderModel. Though we only need functionality that is in the AbstractOrderModel, the hybris guys decided (for an unknown reason) to use OrderModel in every single fucking method (about 30 nested calls ….). So what shall we do, we don’t have an order yet, only a cart. Fuck lets fake an order, push it through use the results and dismiss the order … good idea!? BAD IDEA (don’t ask …). So after a week or two we changed our strategy: create duplicate interface for nearly all (spring) services with changed method signatures that override the hybris beans and allow to use CartModels (which is possible, because within the super methods, they actually „cast" it to AbstractOrderModel *facepalm*).
After about 2 months (2 people full time) we have a working „prototype“. It works with the default-sample-accelerator data. Unfortunately the customer wanted to have it’s own dateset in the system (what a shock). Well you guess it … everything collapsed. The way the customer wanted to "have it working“ was just incompatible with the way hybris wants it (yeah yeah SAP, hybris is sooo customizable …). Well we basically had to rewrite everything again.
Just in case your wondering … the requirements were clear in the beginning (stick to the standard! [configuration/functinonality]). Well, then the customer found out that this is shit … and well …
So some months later, next big thing. I was appointed technical sublead (is that a word)/sub pm for the topics‚delivery service‘ (cart, delivery time calculation, u name it) and customerregistration - a reward for my great work with the b2b approval process???
Customer's office: 20+ people, mostly SAP related, a few c# guys, and drumrole .... the main (external) overall superhero ‚im the greates and ur shit‘ architect.
Aberage age 45+, me - the ‚hybris guy’ (he really just called me that all the time), age 32.
He powerpoints his „ tables" and other weird out of this world stuff on the wall, talks and talks. Everyone is in awe (or fear?). Everything he says is just bullshit and I see it in the eyes of the others. Finally the hybris guy interrups him, as he explains the overall architecture (which is just wrong) and points out how it should be (according to my docs which very more up to date. From now on he didn't just "not like" me anymore. (good first day)
I remember the looks of the other guys - they were releaved that someone pointed that out - saved the weeks of useless work ...
Instead of talking the customer's tongue he just spoke gibberish SAP … arg (common in SAP land as I had to learn the hard way).
Outcome of about (useless) 5 meetings later: we are going to blow out data from informatica to sap to azure to datahub to hybris ... hmpf needless to say its fucking super slow.
But who cares, I‘ll get my own rest endpoint that‘ll do all I need.
First try: error 500, 2. try: 20 seconds later, error message in html, content type json, a few days later the c# guy manages to deliver a kinda working still slow service, only the results are wrong, customer blames the hybris team, hmm we r just using their fucking results ...
The sap guys (customer service) just don't seem to be able to activate/configure the OOTB odata service, so I was told)
Several email rounds, meetings later, about 2 months, still no working hybris integration (all my emails with detailed checklists for every participent and deadlines were unanswered/ignored or answered with unrelated stuff). Customer pissed at us (god knows why, I tried, I really did!). So I decide to fly up there to handle it all by myself16
Never thought I'd say this but...I wish IE6 was back for Outlook.
//After Outlook 2003, Microsoft decided that MS Word was a better renderer for emails than IE6 was, what the hell Microsoft?! Get it together man.4
Agency hires me to convert a 4 column + sidebar + pattern backgrounds email to responsive, for a big client, I make a redesign, simplifying it (less columns, flat...) to avoid issues, client insists, exactly the same design is needed.
I tell him its almost impossible but I will try, and try, and try, many times, but on their old Outlook, some email parts are not aligned (just that), try, and try, many hours, many days beyond budget... all the times since first explaining that perfection is not possible with all possible email clients, and like 7% is using outlook... At that point, and before, email was so well.
Finally I put an end to this, tell them to pay and leave me alone, as they didn't take my advises and warnings serious, not my fault.
This story is nothing until the discovery I made today: the agency had signed a contract with the client, a bank, in that contract there was the obligation to replicate exactly the same design and should be perfect in all email clients...3
Trying to reach a spam score lower than 4 with my HTML emails is the worst time I have ever had while developing.
Go fuck yourself, horrible email standards.
Go fuck yourself Gmail, for blocking images.
Go fuck yourself, conflicting standards.
This shit is just an absolute shit show.17
Holy fucking shit are email clients bullshit.
I don't know what happened there but if you thought the chrome-firefox-ie-egde gaps back in the days were sick - let me tell you.. email clients are made by the devil himself. All of them. All of them? Yup. Because he made some of them being owned by apple, working beatuiful and no weird stuff.
But on the same end he made some of them owned by microsoft and their office Studios. They use the word engine to render html emails. Read this again. Read it without starting to cry in agony.
But thats not enough. Let's make some of them use an ie-engine and the mac os variants going to use some webkit based renderer. This way there will be no valid ruleset to make it look good on all of them, isn't this great??
Now this might be hell already. But lets pour more salt into these wide opened wounds.
Let there be Germany and United Internet, owning trash like Web.de and GMX, whose android clients going to work completely different across Android and app-versions!
Once you've mastered these, let me introduce you to gmail. Lets take only the body node of your email and do some fuck up with it, so you have to display a non-responsive variant on mobile.
Now you might be thinking "but there are web-based clients, they'll do good ain't they?" Long story short: fuck you.
Let's go back to ms.
Hey dude lets make it possible to scale up your whole system. So old people can read shit better. And now the funny part: let's make it so that the word rendering engine, rendering emails goes completely mayhem on your mail, so it looks like a completely different thing! (:
If you ever receive a newsletter in your inbox and that shit looks like it's planned to look like.. appreciate that shit. Sacrifice a virgin as thanksgiving for it.
E-Mail needs to die. I'm doing this for over 2 years now and this shit needs to stop asap.4
After a long day of project management and endless emails, I would go home and dig through books and online training programs on html and css. A few weeks later I really found that enjoyed the work.
A year later I took the leap, quit my job and went back to school. Great decision.
Recruiters or their bosses with sick ambitions and zero feedback.
Do I need to say more?
Spent few days to make my site looking good on desktop/mobile with few screenshots and even video to show my working projects in production. Even more few days to make really detailed 2 A4 CV with my previous job and what I was doing there. All generated from markdown.
I even saved money around half a year to go and live month in other country (Ireland, Dublin) and then on site send about 150 applications on various sites, emails, linkedout and local IT meetings.
Null, nada, nil, NaN accepted applications.
Is it some kind of joke? All companies almost cries for new workers and they don't even answer someone which founded and have no problem with growing own IT company for almost 5 years with self learnt, practically applied in production linux, HTML, CSS, JS, PHP, Go, bash, KVM and Openvz virtualization knowledge?
What they really want?
Astronaut with Brainfuck and Cobol with fluent backwards speaking Esperanto riding on monocycle with 3 hands and no need for sleep for -1 whoopercoin?1
What's your opinion on designed emails?
Do you have a themed template when writing to s.o. or do you use plaintext?
Or when an interesting newsletter offers both HTML and plaintext - which do you prefer?1
Fuck I feel fucked up just for completing user account management, authentication, email verification, password reset. Securing all of this with ssl and checking for any security loopholes.
I can't believe this took me more than a couple months.
Well I was lazy and unmotivated.
I fucking hate crafting stupid ass routes in nginx.
I fucking hate making a nice responsive gui.
I have to design even the stupid html for the emails. Fuuuuck.
So much boilerplate on top of that with username and email validation.
I learnt regex 5 times over the past couple months, still not enough.
And now I actually have to build the functional part.
On the plus side I can reuse this stupid boilerplate if I can make it more modular and readable.
There's shit ton of comments to the point where I feel like an idiot for including so much info. It's like I've written it for a toddler to take over.
Gawd. Anyways it's over now. 50% I guess.
I can finish the rest of the server more quickly and then spend another year designing the Android application.
I'm really lazy in places where I have to design UI/UX. Although at this point it's kinda what could put my application at the top. (I'm lazy, I ain't bad.. I just hate implementing my ideas I wish I could just visualize and have it appear on my screen)
I do like parts of gui that involve little math problems that would make motion smooth and efficient.
"We'll publish critical vulnerabilities in PGP/GPG and S/MIME email encryption on 2018-05-15 07:00 UTC. They might reveal the plaintext of encrypted emails, including encrypted emails sent in the past. #efail 1/4"
Let's see how this unfolds. While there is chaos I trink some tea and laugh, because I never send critical information over e-mail. 🧐🍵4
I want to develop a simple reminders service. People will go online and set a reminder and the service will send an email when the reminder is schedule.
I want to use the simplest stack I can. It will be very simple so I don't want anything complex.
So I need a DB backend, a server to host the web interface so people can set up the reminders, and a background process that send out the emails.
People set up reminders, they are stored in the DB and the process read the reminders every X amount of time and send the emails scheduled in that particular time.
I was thinking about using Firebase (only tried it once in a small chat app for practice). A small web interface stored in a server (which? idk. Heroku, AWS?). And a deamon scheduled to run every half an hour (running where? idk. I have a spare laptop that I can use as server for this purpose or Heroku or any other).
What services (free, or at least free at the beginning) would you use in order to save time and money.
PS: I know Python and Java. But I've worked with PHP (and HTML+CSS). I know next to nothing about JS.11