[Standards-JIG] XHTML further simplification

Rachel Blackman rcb at ceruleanstudios.com
Thu Sep 23 18:55:52 UTC 2004

>> 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.

Actually, wait, I'm curious, then.  If it's bad to be able to send a 
default outgoing font, why should we allow sending a font at all?  In 
my experience, the reason most people send font data in IM is not 
because they want to mark a specific word or phrase, but because 
they've set a default font.

Further, if we /don't/ allow setting a default font, for those people 
embedding a default HTML or Rich Text input control (since this thread 
has revealed a lot of them), how do they tell the difference between a 
'default' font or someone manually setting a font for an entire line?

...and if we were to discourage the use of sending fonts in our styling 
altogether, as opposed to just color/bold/italics/underline -- 
presumably on the grounds that it should be up to the receiving user 
how the messages display in their client -- then why on earth should we 
be encouraging sending margins or padding? ;)

> 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
> markup?

I admittedly begin to wonder this, too, if only because the XHTML 
nature of this seems to have raised all kinds of conflicting 
expectations about what it can do (from embedding flash and scripts, to 
whether or not document layout features should work, etc.).  However, a 
lot of existing tools can display XHTML, so I can see the convenience 
factor, and the fact that XHTML is, by definition, guaranteed to be 
able to be embedded in an XML stream.

Rachel 'Sparks' Blackman -- sysadmin, developer, mad scientist
"If it is not broken, give me five minutes to redesign it!"
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