[Standards] IMML

Alex Jones alex at weej.com
Mon Aug 6 12:33:14 UTC 2007

On Sun, 2007-08-05 at 20:05 -0700, Justin Karneges wrote:
> On Sunday 05 August 2007 5:11 pm, Alex Jones wrote:
> > Hi list
> >
> > I am intending to make an XEP of this. Is anyone interested in helping
> > me, as I haven't really got a clue how to write a proper specification.
> >
> > http://spark.us.weej.net/~alex/temp/imml.html
> >
> > Thanks!
> XEP-71 (XHTML-IM), offers a subset of XHTML markup suitable for IM.  This 
> should be sufficient, don't you think?

No, for the reasons I specify in my text.

"It is important to note that this protocol extension is not intended to
entirely replace the use of XHTML in messages, but is rather intended to
satisfy an entirely different use case. It is of the author's opinion
that Instant Messaging is inherently different to hypertext document
authoring, for which XHTML is designed. For example, even the most
specific of XHTML modules, XHTML Text, is inappropriate for IM. It
introduces concepts such as headings and paragraphs, which may make
sense in a document authoring context, but don't in an IM context."

To further clarify...

HTML offers no such URI element. The nearest thing is an "a", but that
relegates the URI to an attribute of the anchor text. Not only is this
simply inappropriate for IM (what use is there in masking the URI with
arbitrary text in the real world?), but it opens us up to a social
engineering trick common in email and the web that is a wholly
unnecessary risk. Consider:

<a href="http://nasty/">http://paypal.com/</a>



As stated in my text, clients may choose to replace URIs with
placeholders for the sake of improving message readability.

HTML offers no such icon element. The nearest thing is an "img", but
that requires that the icon image has a URI, removing the choice of
image negotiation from the client, and relegates the icon text to the
"alt" attribute. Consider:

<img src="http://some/url/here.png" alt=":D"/>



HTML offers simply too much in the way of text formatting. I disagree
with even having two levels of emphasis ("em" and "strong"), as this has
no meaning in IM. One of my goals for IMML is to remain completely
semantic, offering the widest accessibility possible.

I hope this clears a few things up.


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