[standards-jig] message formatting (XHTML IM)
David 'TheRaven' Chisnall
theraven at sucs.org
Thu Jun 19 15:15:46 UTC 2003
I have a few thoughts, some of which may be sensible, some of which may
result from lack of sleep:
1) I really don't like the idea of parsing /italic/, because this is
often used in paths and URLs that people paste into chat dialogs and
having a client randomly italicise parts of a URLwould be irritating.
These forms of mark-up are often used in the geek community, but not so
common outside it. For the people who use it the client parsing it
would be unrequired, for those not using it it would be confusing.
However, this is not a protocol issue.
2) I'm not sure what the advantage of being able to enter your own
markup is to most people. MSN etc. don't let you do this, they all give
you a wordpad style interface. There's nothing to stop client having
keyboard shortcuts (ctrl-i for toggle italic, for example), for users
who prefer to use a keyboard, but the majority of IM users have grown up
with MS Word and derivatives and expect that kind of UI for entering
3) The client I currently use (JAJC) supports HTML IM very well, and has
a clear UI for doing so. With the exception of the MSN transport not
correctly parsing it, it seems to work fine, and does everything I would
expect of an IM system.
4) MathML. Hmm. While it would be very useful to be able to enter
mathematical formulae in an IM (I usually fall back to entering LaTeX
syntax and relying on the other party to parse it in their head, which
is far vrom ideal) my view on MathML is that is a demon-spawned
hell-child. It is not human-readable (the spec even states something to
this effect) and if you aren't going to be human-readable then this
somewhat defeats the point of using XML. I have yet to find a good
program for creating it, so I suspect that it would require a major
investment of effort on the part of client developers to implement.
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