A couple months ago, I finally finished our html toolbar editor update. It allowed us to finally move to html5 doctype declaration, which seems to open up a bunch of exciting options for future development. It seemed like a fairly smooth transition- a few minor bugs, quickly fixed.
And then there was Outlook.
The same toolbar is used on our email list feature. I tested that quite a bit and everything seemed to work great. Text formatting, link insertion, image placement- all went through to my test emails without a hitch.
Not so much with Outlook.
I naively thought that MS Outlook would handle html email in a similar manner to Thunderbird, Mozilla’s awesome, open source email client (that I’ve used for quite a while now). Instead, every image included in an email, when viewed in Outlook, was broken. Not in the ‘this message has blocked some attachments, click this button to show images’ sense. In the ‘screw you, we’re not showing this picture because we don’t feel like it’ sense.
Of course, there was a reason. The new toolbar was set to use updated css style methods when working with image size. So, instead of including explicit ‘height’ and ‘width’ tags on every <img> inserted, it had that info in the style definition. Worked great everywhere except Outlook. Luckily, all other email clients also still accept the old method, so I was able to change the image insertion process to just use the old method.
I love the process of developing, but ensuring things are backwards (or kind of sideways, in this case) compatible can be a pain in the ass!