Plain text (from Re: Avoidance variants)

Neil Harris neil at
Fri Mar 27 09:47:53 CDT 2015

On 26/03/15 23:27, Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
> On 03/26/2015 11:18 AM, William_J_G Overington wrote:
>> > Blocks of boring plain text, no italics or effects any more complex 
>> than justification, simple notes written all in one font with no 
>> formatting to speak of etc.
>> I am wondering if it is considered a good idea to define into Plane 
>> 14 some formatting characters, so that plain text could in the future 
>> contain italics and so on.
> And we could define "plain water" to include sugar and flavorings, and 
> have Coke run out of our taps.  But that isn't "plain water" anymore.  
> And yes, we DO allow some additives in water and still call it 
> "plain", even as we do have some formatting characters in Unicode and 
> call it plain text (e.g. tab, formfeed, ZWJ, RLO, PDF, etc)
> Alternatively, you could say we already have such things encodable as 
> plain text, using character sequences, like U+003C U+0069 U+003E to 
> indicate "BEGIN ITALICS", etc...  Just need the right reader...
> ~mark

Or you could just redefine "&" and "<" as




and be done with it, and just incorporate HTML5 into Unicode forever, 
thus eliminating these discussions from this list, and moving them to 
the W3C and WHATWG lists...

-- Neil

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