[Standards] Proposed XMPP Extension: Styling

Emmanuel Gil Peyrot linkmauve at linkmauve.fr
Mon Nov 6 19:17:25 UTC 2017

On Mon, Nov 06, 2017 at 11:58:15AM -0600, Sam Whited wrote:
> The XMPP Extensions Editor has received a proposal for a new XEP.
> Title: Styling
> Abstract:
> > This specification defines a plain-text formatting syntax for use in
> > exchanging instant messages with simple text styling.

Please no…

People have been telling you countless times on standards@ that
embedding raw markup in the body is an extremely bad idea, with many

Markdown(-like) is NOT a plain text format, having the receiving client
choose between rendering all formatting characters or stripping them is
stupid, and requiring humans to mentally strip them out in older
clients is stupid; have you not seen the mess that OTR is for example?

There is exactly no extensibility in this proposal, if tomorrow the
trend changes you will end up with all users of clients implementing it
not understanding what’s going on.

Formatting really should be in a separate payload, so that clients
which don’t understand it can use the plain text version and safely
ignore the formatted one.

And again, this XEP does not address any of the issues with XHTML-IM,
web people will just pipe this through the first Markdown library and
get rendering wrong, get more elements than listed here, and get a nice
passthrough of escaped HTML.

> URL: https://xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/styling.html
> The Council will decide in the next two weeks whether to accept this
> proposal as an official XEP.

Sorry for the rant,

Emmanuel Gil Peyrot
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