On 11/12/21 2:35 PM, Adam H. Kerman wrote:
> I like plain text ASCII. It's universally readable.
I agree. I love the old vanilla. That said, English is not the only
language in use. Also: math.
We are at a point where all terminals and graphical clients should be
UTF-8 compliant, and attaching postscript-like font blobs and simple
formatting instructions could be part of the standard. With HTML we
attach CSS/JS. A simpler scheme than in HTML allows for multiple
languages. It would also allow for intricate mathematical notation.
Of course I believe default should be ASCII and nothing should be
attached that doesn't need to be. I also think that any kind of attached
resource should always be at the very bottom of the text file, never at
the top. Inline markup should be numerical indexes instead of style
tags, to prevent a lot of visual clutter. The human eye gets accustomed
to numbers in parenthesis quickly and soon just tunes them out.
For instance one might have some UTF-8 math operators or Greek glyphs
with a enclosed font in postscript/base64 format. The postscript code
for the glyphs should be at the end of the file with a numerical index
And in the text body it would be inserted like this:
(32:) unicode symbols or entity codes go here (:32)
(33:) Spo9AmpYwPrv220TwtNDQm61lv81m/zJ (:33)
Index 33 would theoretically be UTF-8, but I substituted base64 just for
Readers should hide the index tags by default. Readers that can't render
them should allow display of the tags and code or hiding all tagged code.
Index tags can be used for any kind of formatting. However the format
instructions should not be part of the index tags. Rather the
instructions should reside at the footer of the document and be
referenced by a numerical tag. This also has the side effect of clear
and unambiguous semantic meaning without boilerplate.
In this way plain text would just render as plain text without any need
for highly-distracting markup or instruction, and formatted text and
font resources would not obstruct any plain text in the document.
Command-line browsers and readers like lynx and slrn would only need a
few lines of code to detect and adapt the scheme for modern terminals
that are UTF-8 compliant.
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----