[Standards] IMML

Alex Jones alex at weej.com
Tue Aug 7 11:57:53 UTC 2007

Hi Michal

On Tue, 2007-08-07 at 10:18 +0200, Michal 'vorner' Vaner wrote:
> Hello
> I'm for the marking of URL or emoticon (not that they would bother me
> any more, I disabled emoticons completely and have just text, and urls at
> last don't screw the message up).
> But I think emphasis is too much for the protocol

Personally, I sometimes find that plain text alone is not enough to
communicate effectively with people, especially when complicated
concepts like sarcasm are involved. Newspapers and typeset books
generally get away with using emphasis (usually in the form of
italicised text) without bringing in background colours and varying
typefaces. I remain fairly convinced that some kind of emphasis is part
of everyday natural speech. This is my justification for the inclusion.

> Besides, I would do
> backwards-compatible protocol (no other element besides xhtml and text,
> why send third version of the text). Just an idea:
> <message>
>   <text>This is not a joke ;-) http://notajoke.org</text>
>   <IMML:emoticon start='20' length='3'/>
>   <IMML:url start='24' length='19'/>
> </message>

This isn't a very XML-way of doing this. Consider this IMML message

  <text>This is <imml:em>not</imml:em> a joke <imml:icon>;-)</imml:icon>

The beauty of this is that (specification permitting) if the client
wishes to ignore the IMML markup and process the message as a
traditional plain text message, it can. The message IS backwards
compatible! This is exactly the way HTML works with respect to "unknown"
elements. We can do this while XHTML-IM can't because of things like the
HTML "a" element relegating the actual URI to element attribute data -
the child data under an "a" is the hyperlink text, not the URI.

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