Italics get used to express important semantic meaning, so unicode should support them

Sławomir Osipiuk sosipiuk at
Tue Dec 15 19:14:42 CST 2020

On Tue, Dec 15, 2020 at 6:07 PM Kent Karlsson
<kent.b.karlsson at> wrote:
> Now, where did I see something very much like this???
> Oh yes, ECMA-48. Not exactly the same, but quite close. Indeed very close (especially the ”invisible by default” (”default ignorable”) IF parsed correctly).

ECMA-48 aka ISO 6429 was on my mind the moment I read the OP. I didn't
mention it because it's a bit outdated (even if I do have a fondness
for it) and if you're using such a thing, why not a more modern HTML
subset, or BBCode, or any number of other options in use or from the
list the OP gave? There are, after all, so many to choose from. And if
none of those satisfy, you can always make your own!

But that "if parsed correctly" is quite the nit, isn't it?

> It is not entirely inconceivable to map all the (otherwise) printable characters used by such control sequences to TAG characters, thus making the ”default ignorable” part of this a bit easier.

And this is just the BabelPad solution but applied to a different
protocol. Replacing regular markup by corresponding characters from
the tag block to gain ignorable-ness may seem like a cool idea at
first, but it's just spinning yet another markup. (With no offense
intended to BabelPad's author; it's not a bad idea except that it
starts at the bottom of the mountain just like any other.) Tag syntax
is already part of Unicode. I'd rather use it than import something
wholesale from another protocol.

Finally, what I'm envisioning — and I'm not sure how closely this
matches Christian Kleineidam's intention (where did he go, anyway?) —
is not Yet Another Presentation Layer or a Shiny New Toy for people to
use in their tweets, but more of a sombre hint that "in the original
source document, this text had an alternative presentation; indicate
this to the user in an appropriate way, if applicable". It's meant for
preservation, not decoration. That's why I hear the "spirit of

Sławomir Osipiuk

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