[Standards] Markdown in XMPP IM

Peter Waher peterwaher at hotmail.com
Wed Jan 6 19:11:42 UTC 2016

Hello Ashley, and others.
>> I?m sure this must have been discussed and dismissed before, but would adding a some kind of content/MIME type attribute to the body help at all? That way a client can stick markdown or yaml or whatever the flavour of the day is into the body, give it a type, and then the receiving client can then decide whether it can/wants to render that type nicely or just display it as plain text?
> I suppose the problem is then that it might encourage people to stick non-textual content into the body too - base64 encoded binaries, etc.
> Maybe having a separate ?rich body? element might work, which can contain markdown, yaml, rich text, etc?
> Just some thoughts...

I like this idea.
Would the council be in favour of accepting a protoXEP according these lines? Defining an element <content type="text/...">...</content> which can be used as a complement to the normal text body. It could be limited to top-level types "text", to avoid the problem Ashley mentions. (Or leave that as a security note. There might be cases where other types might be of interest as well.) In this way there's a standardized way to encapsulate internet content (of relatively small size) into a message.
> Further to my previous message, maybe a ?content type hint? extension:
> <message ...>
> <body>
>   # Some markdown or whatever
>   Yeah!
> </body>
> <content-type xmlns=?xmpp:contenttype:0?>text/x-markdown</content-type>
> </message>
> It would be a very simple extension, could piggy-back off MIME content types, and could be safely ignored by clients.

I was thinking about this solution as well (i.e. just a flag in the message that the body message had a specific content type). But I would prefer the content being a supplement of a plain text body (as in the XHTML-case). In that case, there's Always a simple text version available for clients not understanding the content type used.
Best regards,
Peter Waher

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