[linux-elitists] Seperating Content from Presentation

Ben Finney ben@benfinney.id.au
Mon May 31 08:51:36 PDT 2004


(Eugen, please honour my Mail-Followup-To header field; I'm subscribed
to the list.  Your User-Agent field says you're using Mutt, which should
be doing this for you.)

On 31-May-2004, Eugen Leitl wrote:
> On Mon, May 31, 2004 at 03:28:17PM +1000, Ben Finney wrote:
> > better than assuming the MUA somehow knows the difference between a
> > line that should be automagically wrapped and one that shouldn't.
> 
> That's easy enough to tell: anything with an http:// or ftp:// prefix.

Or 'https://', or filename specifications, or command outputs, or log
messages, or quoted message text, or...

Gosh, suddenly we have to make a pretty complex text renderer in the MUA
to know which lines to wrap.  Why were we bothering, again?

> Actually, one shouldn't wrap any contiguous (blank is separator)
> line of text, period. 

The person writing the text is the only one who can know if a line
should be wrapped, or if it needs to stay contiguous to remain
meaningful.  That's the fact of using a format without markup.

If the recipient wants to wrap those lines too, that's their choice; but
the only way for the sender to indicate a line shouldn't be wrapped in
plain text is to wrap all the ones that should.

> > Remember, make the data smart, so the software can be simple.
> 
> Anything requiring more lines of code to render while providing no
> significant advantages is a shitty trade.

Yes, one of many reasons why marked-up text is a poor choice for email.

-- 
 \          "Writing a book is like washing an elephant: there no good |
  `\        place to begin or end, and it's hard to keep track of what |
_o__)                           you've already covered."  -- Anonymous |
Ben Finney <ben@benfinney.id.au>
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