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Q: AOL mail client's level of html support ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: AOL mail client's level of html support
Category: Computers > Internet
Asked by: gan-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 22 May 2003 03:45 PDT
Expires: 21 Jun 2003 03:45 PDT
Question ID: 207234
Someone I know enjoys receiving HTML email. They are using AOL, and
have recently (about a week ago) upgraded their AOL installation to
the latest version.

I'd like to know if, when I send them an HTML-formatted email, it
would be safe to use basic, simple 2-column HTML tables, containing
base-64 encoded images around 200px wide within the <td>'s, within the
body source code - would such code be likely to render correctly in
the latest AOL mail client?

I'm sending using MSOE6, and normally send as far as possible
exclusively in plaintext, so this is a foray into an unknown area for
me! One of my internet blindspots.

Thanks in advance.
Subject: Re: AOL mail client's level of html support
Answered By: errol-ga on 22 May 2003 07:19 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there, Gan!

I can confirm that the newest versions of AOL mail do support HTML
A breakdown of version compatibility is below, taken from the
Webmaster Info page at AOL.

    * AOL 8.0: HTML, Rich Text, Plain Text
    * AOL 7.0: HTML, Rich Text, Plain Text
    * AOL 6.0: HTML, Rich Text, Plain Text
    * AOL 5.0: Rich Text, Plain Text
    * AOL 4.0: Plain Text Only

The technologies that are not supported are:

    * ActiveX
    * Audio
    * External Style Sheets
    * Frames and IFrames
    * Java
    * Meta Refresh
    * Scripts: JavaScript, VBScript, Perl, etc.
    * Tooltips
    * Video

The newest email client is based on the Gecko rendering engine, used
by browsers and email clients such as Netscape 6+ and Mozilla, the
open source browser project.
What is Gecko?
For more on the technologies that Gecko/Mozilla supports, view this

As a web developer myself, I know that the Gecko rendering engine
provides a fantastic amount of support for current web standards and
will have no problem displaying images in the way that you described.
In fact, Gecko is far ahead of Microsoft's Internet Explorer
technologies which are included in products such as Outlook Express,
Outlook and Frontpage.
This IE engine does not support advanced CSS in the way that Gecko
can, for an example view the following page:

As you may or may not be aware, Netscape (who run the Mozilla
project), are also part of AOL-Timewarner, so it would make sense to
use Gecko in the AOL products.

Related links:


"New AOL email client takes on Outlook Express",3973,731960,00.asp

I hope this helps!

Google searches used:

"aol developer html email"

"aol mail gecko"

"aol netscape"
gan-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Thanks Errol, great answer helping me speed through a rather hectic day :)

Subject: Re: AOL mail client's level of html support
From: errol-ga on 22 May 2003 09:50 PDT
Hi Gan!

Many thanks for an enjoyable question to answer and for your kind generosity. :)


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