[Standards-JIG] XHTML-IM Conclusions

Robert Norris rob at cataclysm.cx
Fri Sep 3 04:09:24 UTC 2004

On Thu, Sep 02, 2004 at 05:37:13PM +0100, Ian Paterson wrote:
> If we cut out as much XHTML as possible, this will make the XHTML more
> simple to parse, _validate_ and render. Let's not repeat a ten-year-old
> mistake and handicap ourselves with the added complexity of supporting both
> XHTML and CSS styling.

Lets take it back a step, and just think about a _protocol_ for IM+basic

  <message to='foo' from='bar'>
      Be bold!
      Wear a false limb!
    <body xmlns='http://www.jabber.org/protocol/styled'>
      Be <style type='bold'>bold</style>!
      Wear a <style type='color/red'>false limb</style>!

So, our JEP defined a core set of styles - bold, italic, underline,
maybe strikethrough, some colours (either "color/red" or
"color/#123456"), and maye some other bits - changes in font size, type,

As usual, allow additional styles via future JEPs/Registrar.

Nothing complex about it. It requires minimal effort to process, whiles
being flexible enough for any kind of styling of simple text messages.
And its not tied to any particular technology.

No, it doesn't allow cut/paste of HTML from the browser. No, you can't
use it to send around Flash/Java/ActiveX. No, you can't just blat the
message into the IE engine embedded in your client to parse it. These
are all fine things, but they seem bigger than simply styling IMs.

What this does give is a lightweight, flexible, extensible and
technology-agnostic protocol for styled IM. Job done.

(At the end of the day though, I'm just a lowly server author, with no
client expertise. And I'm barely even that, what with letting my own
project stagnate while I do my own thing. So feel free to ignore me ;)


Robert Norris                                       GPG: 1024D/FC18E6C2
Email+Jabber: rob at cataclysm.cx                Web: http://cataclysm.cx/
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