[Standards-JIG] XHTML further simplification

Trejkaz Xaoza trejkaz at xaoza.net
Thu Sep 23 14:53:37 UTC 2004

On Wed, 22 Sep 2004 08:41, Rachel Blackman wrote:
> ---
> Look, ma, I can type.
> Whee!
> This is cool!
> ---
> Notice the two linebreaks between 'Whee!' and 'This is cool!'  I can
> type this in Notepad and save it.  I can type this in an e-mail program
> (obviously) and send it.  I can type this in AIM or MSN in an IM.  In
> none of those does it consume the extra linefeed, is what I'm saying.
> If you do not believe me, copy and paste that text from my e-mail
> message right into any of those programs and try it. ;)
> Ah, you say, but that is plain text, and that is different!

This is actually why I was suggesting preserving whitespace.  This would mark 
up as:

<body><p>Look, ma, I can type.


This is cool!</p></bodY>

This way we don't need to bother about even inserting line breaks or new 

The crying shame is that we even need paragraphs at all.  These are "simple" 
messages, right?  Is a message with two paragraphs simple?  Is it simple when 
you have a block of text you're quoting nested inside a block quote?  Hell 
no.  The paragraph-level stuff will be really useful for larger email-like 
messages, but by that point, we might need more of XHTML as well.  Maybe 
another profile for normal messages, distinct from the one for chat messages.

> Further, if you have a default font or color for outgoing messages set
> (as AIM, MSN, etc. allow you to), isn't your plain text really XHTML
> anyway, since you'll be sending it with that markup?

Sidetrack: if other people's clients do this like MSN did, I will be staying 
on a plaintext-only client until they stop.  Or hopefully, clients which 
support XHTML-IM will support turning it off by default, as I can in an email 
client to solve the same problem.  Oh wait, but then users will start sending 
messages with text bodies like "Your client can't read XHTML messages... get 
a better Jabber client!"  <sarcasm>Which is fantastic, because I don't get 
quite enough of that on email already.</sarcasm>

Hopefully Jabber client developers will never fall to the trap of letting 
anyone do this, for any reason.

>> They might care about the side effects.  What will be our excuse if a user
>> tries to right align just one paragraph in their message and the entire
>> message right aligns, due to there only being one semantic paragraph?
> Quoting you just above, "But I thought the use of XHTML-IM was for
> simple formatting..."

Right aligning is in Wordpad, therefore it's simple. ;-)

But you're right... anything with more than one paragraph is no longer simple 
anyway.  You have to deal with blocks, and then in the case of a chat window, 
it can't wrap around normally anymore, but has to wrap as a rectangular 
block, and all other sorts of rubbish.

If we get rid of the block level elements, then about the only element left is 
the <span/> tag, since we don't care about the semantics of any other tag 
(okay, so maybe the <a/> and <img/> tags too.)  So why XHTML, again?  
Couldn't we have gone down a road like Rob suggested and used a simpler 

<body xmlns="urn:bogus:styled"><p>Look, ma, I can type.

<font color="red" weight="bold">Whee!</font>

This is cool!</bodY>

And behold, no more CSS.


             Email: Trejkaz Xaoza <trejkaz at xaoza.net>
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