[rfc-i] tt and quotes-in-text : Re: What the text version is used for (was Re: The <tt> train wreck)

Martin Thomson mt at lowentropy.net
Thu Aug 26 17:52:12 PDT 2021

On Fri, Aug 27, 2021, at 04:24, Carsten Bormann wrote:
> Reviewers of my specs have repeatedly noted that the plaintext-fallback 
> for <em or <strong is jarring.  We aren’t we “fixing” (amputating the 
> plaintext-fallback for) these as well?

Sounds like a good idea to me.
I think that you have the wrong end of this.  I can agree that the text form can be ugly or uglier than HTML, but we have to acknowledge the process that authors will use.

Authors will look at the output (text or html or both) and adjust their input to get the outcome they desire.  Inconsistency in presentation between formats makes this process unreliable.  If authors only look at one format, that will dictate their inputs and the other will suffer.

If quotes are desired, then it is reasonable and appropriate to have authors type quotes into to the source.  That leads to less reliance on the automatic decoration and pushes toward fewer decorations for different semantic elements.  It means that the ugliness innate in text renderings is less obvious differentiation for different "decoration" elements (<tt, <em, <strong, <aside, ...).

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