In a previous question, someone requested that notification e-mails should use plain text. Using plain text for e-mails (or including a plain-text part in addition to an HTML part) is important for reasons of accessibility, security, and privacy. (That is, some visually impaired people prefer using the plain-text part because it is easier to customize its appearance or to use with a screen reader. Other users set their e-mail clients to use plain text to help avoid phishing attacks and privacy-violating web bugs.) Using plain text is also mandated by Internet standards such as RFC 1521.
To Stack Exchange's credit, some attempt was made to fix this issue back in 2009, but unfortunately the solution is so rudimentary as to be almost useless. Here is a screenshot showing what the plain-text version of a notification e-mail looks like:
As you can see, there are huge blank areas, and no useful URLs other than feedback and unsubscribe links. There isn't even any sort of text explaining what the notification is for. Compare this to the HTML part of the same notification:
As RFC 1521 mandates that the plain-text part of the e-mail should provide the same information as the HTML part, could you please, at minimum, include the following in the plain-text version?
- the same introductory text explaining why the notification has been sent (e.g., "The following item was added to your Stack Exchange global inbox since you last checked it on 2015-05-03"), and
- the URL of whatever comment, answer, etc. is being referenced
It would also be great if the formatting could be improved a bit—say, by removing all that superfluous indentation and vertical blank space.