[Standards] XEP-0394: too weak to replace XEP-0071

Tedd Sterr teddsterr at outlook.com
Fri Mar 16 14:03:28 UTC 2018

I like the idea and design of 0394, and look forward to seeing these extensions; the unholy hybrid attempting to shoehorn in 0393, not so much.

Attempting to extend the inline text styling to support all of the additional formatting features is going to result in plain text messages that resemble Perl programs, which is really not good for readability. And essentially forcing clients to support 0393, while also including additional styling that 0393 does not support will do nothing to aid compatibility.

There is no need to combine the two - keep it simple and straightforward.

Regarding graceful degradation: there should be a service discovery string to indicate support for 0394; thus a sending client knows in advance whether to send 0394 formatting to another client.

The sending client can still degrade gracefully - there are four possibilities:

1. The receiving client supports 0394, the sender formats their text and sends it, the receiver receives the text and displays it in all its formatted glory, all is good in the world;

2. The receiving client does not support 0394 (or support has been disabled), so the sender does not send 0394 formatted text, but still allows the user to format messages (with appropriately limited features) and falls back to sending inline text styling à la 0393, the receiver receives the text and displays it in its somewhat formatted glory;

3. The receiving client doesn't support 0394, so the sender sends 0393 text instead, but the receiver doesn't support 0393 and simply displays the text as-is complete with readable line-noise;

4. The receiving client doesn't support 0394, but the sender does not support 0393 and thus disables formatting options for the user, and all messages are sent as plain unformatted text.

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