[Standards] Proposed XMPP Extension: Message Markup

Jonas Wielicki jonas at wielicki.name
Wed Nov 8 10:31:03 UTC 2017


On Dienstag, 7. November 2017 20:34:04 CET Jonas Wielicki wrote:
> URL: https://xmpp.org/extensions/inbox/markup.html

It has been brought up in xsf@ that this XEP seems contradictory, because it 
states in the Requirements:

> Textual data and markup metadata MUST be separated strictly.

But also contains ">" (for quotations) and "*" (for bullet point lists) in the 
<body/>.

Let me explain why I think this is not a contradiction and why I think this 
still makes sense (and please also consider my most recent message in the 
Message Styling thread [1] in this context).

- These characters are not needed at all for the markup itself to work. They 
are thus not a "markup language" per se and not "markup information" which is 
in the body, thus not violating the quoted requirement.

- They are useful to help human(!) users of plain-text clients to interpret 
the message correctly. As they are not needed for parsing, their placement can 
be more ambigious than with strictly defined markup languages like Styling. 
For example, it would be valid to have a marked up plain-text fallback like 
this:

    <body>The right term is c_a_ffeine.</body>
    <markup><span start="19" end="22"><emphasis/></span></markup>

(This would not be emphasised with Message Styling as it violates the rule 
that markup "MUST start with a whitespace character or be the beginning of the 
line or the byte stream" rule.)

- I’d like to state for the record (so that Council can take this into 
consideration when voting on this XEP, to the good or the bad) that I am 
considering removing the "Requirements on the contents of the <body/> MUST NOT 
be imposed." requirement and in fact define plain-text fallbacks for each of 
the <markup/> child elements. This would make the <body/> messages of marked 
up messages more consistent (while still not necessarily be parseable as 
ascii-based markup) and allow us to specify deletion of characters/codepoints 
(e.g. the "> " for a quotation).

  The obvious example would be to define how <bquote/> uses ">" as symbol in 
the plain-text fallback. We could also define fallbacks for the inline span 
styles. Please note that this is exactly the other way round when looking at 
Styling. I sincerely think that both can meet in the middle and co-exist to a 
greater good.

Thoughts please?

kind regards,
Jonas


   [1]: https://mail.jabber.org/pipermail/standards/2017-November/033797.html
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