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Never type all the annoying markup that emails demand again. Let us muddle everything up.

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README.md

Muddle

Email clients are not web browsers. They render html all funny, to put it politely. In general, the best practices for writing HTML that will look good in an email are the exact inverse from those that you should use for a web page. Remembering all those differences sucks.

With muddle, we're trying to make it so that the only thing you have to know is to use tables in your emails. Muddle will take care of the rest. It uses ideas from HTML Email Boilerplate to help you get your emails in line without having to know tons about how clients render it.

  • CSS will be inlined using premailer, so you can use external style sheets as you normally would.
  • HTML elements will be augmented with all the attributes they need for email, so you don't need to worry about ensuring all your anchor tags have _target set, etc.
  • The resulting html document will be checked for tags that don't play well in email (like div).

Installation

Add this line to your application's Gemfile:

gem 'muddle'

And then execute:

$ bundle

Or install it yourself with:

$ gem install muddle

Usage

The Basics

However you're sending email, you'll want to get what you intend to be the html body of your email into a variable. How you do that is up to you. Say you have a SLIM template and you're using Mail to build and send your emails:

require 'muddle'
require 'slim'
require 'mail'

body = Slim::Template('path/to/welcome_email.html.slim').render

# This is really the only thing Muddle is involved in.
muddled_body = Muddle.parse(body)

email = Mail.new do
  to 'some_new_customer@gmail.com'
  from 'welcome@awesome_web_service.com'
  subject 'Welcome!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!one!!!'

  html_part do
    body muddled_body
    content_type 'text/html; charset=UTF-8'
  end
end

If you're using ActionMailer, you could do like this:

class UserMailer < ActionMailer::Base
  def welcome_email
    mail(
      to: 'some_new_customer@gmail.com',
      from: 'welcome@awesome_web_service.com',
      subject: 'Welcome!!!!!!!!!!1!!!!one!!!'
    ) do |format|
      format.html { Muddle.parse(render) }
    end
  end
end

Configuration

You can configure Muddle with a block. Maybe throw this in an initializer of some sort. Here are all the defaults:

Muddle.configure do |config|
  config.parse_with_premailer          = true
  config.insert_boilerplate_styles     = true
  config.insert_boilerplate_css        = true
  config.insert_boilerplate_attributes = true
  config.validate_html                 = true
  config.generate_plain_text           = false
  config.logger                        = nil

  config.premailer_options = {
    :remove_comments  => true,
    :with_html_string => true,
    :adapter          => :hpricot
  }
end

Writing An Email

For best results, just start writing your email with a table tag and move in from there. Muddler will handle putting the xmlns and DOCTYPE and a bunch of stuff into the <head>, then open the <body> for you. It will also close these tags at the end.

For example, if you have a template the ends up like this:

<html>
  <body>
    <table>
      <tbody>
        <tr>
          <td><h1>Welcome to our AWESOME NEW WEB SERVICE!</h1></td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td><p>You should come <a href="http://awesome_web_service.com">check us out</a>.</p></td>
        </tr>
      </tbody>
    </table>
  </body>
</html>

Muddle will spit out this:

<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
  <head>
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
  </head>
  <body style="width: 100% !important; margin: 0; padding: 0; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100%; -ms-text-size-adjust: 100%;">
    <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" border="0" align="center">
      <tbody>
        <tr>
          <td valign="top"><h1 style="color: black !important;">Welcome to our AWESOME NEW WEB SERVICE!</h1></td>
        </tr>
        <tr>
          <td valign="top"><p style="margin: 1em 0;">You should <a href="http://awesome_web_service.com" style="color: blue;" target="_blank">check us out</a>.</p></td>
        </tr>
      </tbody>
    </table>

    <style type="text/css">
      /* Boilerplate CSS for BODY */

      #outlook a {padding:0;}
      #backgroundTable {margin:0; padding:0; width:100% !important; line-height: 100% !important;}

      .ExternalClass {width:100%;}
      .ExternalClass, .ExternalClass p, .ExternalClass span, .ExternalClass font, .ExternalClass td, .ExternalClass div {line-height: 100%;}
      .image_fix {display:block;}

      h1 a:active, h2 a:active,  h3 a:active, h4 a:active, h5 a:active, h6 a:active {color: red !important;}
      h1 a:visited, h2 a:visited,  h3 a:visited, h4 a:visited, h5 a:visited, h6 a:visited {color: purple !important;}

      @media only screen and (max-device-width: 480px) {
        a[href^="tel"], a[href^="sms"] {
          text-decoration: none;
          color: blue;
          pointer-events: none;
          cursor: default;
        }
        .mobile_link a[href^="tel"], .mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {
          text-decoration: default;
          color: orange !important;
          pointer-events: auto;
          cursor: default;
        }
      }
      @media only screen and (min-device-width: 768px) and (max-device-width: 1024px) {
        a[href^="tel"], a[href^="sms"] {
          text-decoration: none;
          color: blue;
          pointer-events: none;
          cursor: default;
        }
        .mobile_link a[href^="tel"], .mobile_link a[href^="sms"] {
          text-decoration: default;
          color: orange !important;
          pointer-events: auto;
          cursor: default;
        }
      }
    </style>
    <style type="text/css">
      body { width: 100% !important; -webkit-text-size-adjust: 100% !important; -ms-text-size-adjust: 100% !important; margin: 0 !important; padding: 0 !important; }
      img { outline: none !important; text-decoration: none !important; -ms-interpolation-mode: bicubic !important; }
    </style>
  </body>
</html>

To Do

  • naughty tag warnings
  • performance tests
  • test external CSS resource handling
  • test if premailer is making image URI's absolute where possible
  • complain about images with relative urls
  • complain about image not having alt, height, width
  • create background attribute from css where relevant
  • check for lines starting with a period

Contributing

  1. Fork it
  2. Create your feature branch ($ git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  3. Commit your changes ($ git commit -am 'Added some feature')
  4. Push to the branch ($ git push origin my-new-feature)
  5. Create new Pull Request
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