Again, I see no point in inventing another document description language.
We have PostScript for those who wish to retain the layout and other
miscellaneous presentation-oriented stuff, and we have SGML for those
for whom the information is essential and the presentation should be up
to the UA. A simple SGML application can be defined for this task, but
it will have to be much more rigorous than richtext today, and
consequently easier to implement, becaus you would know what to expect.
The concept of a "valid richtext document" would also make sense, which
it does not today.
It would be nice if the whole world supported SGML and PS, and, in my own
Macintosh environment, if I could count on my users haveing an SGML capable
application which I could off-load the display of SGML text onto via
Unfortunatly, such is not the case, and I am ignorant of any Mac SGML
interpreters, which suggests that they are not widespread (at least in my
market). This leaves me with the task of writing one? Not this year please,
espcially as I face the very real prospect of unicode embedment (for which I
expect Apple to formalize support for, but not soon).
So I suspect that similar motivations exist for this Yet-another-standard
document description. Personally I would have nominated the Microsoft developed
RichTextFormat, which at least has been implemented in the Mac environment (MS
Word v3+, MacWrite 2), and maybe even on the PC, but that was in ignorance of
SGML, which I must plead ignorance of (though not for long, I suppose).
Further, a case can be made for the character oriented styleing of RT, if not
for its more expensive paragraph level structureing. I would *very* much like
to be able to *dump* the ** convention (and other similar hackery) in my
*normal* mail. Especially since my Mac can do so much better. Obviously, that
provincial view has dificultys for some non-GUI environments, and thus RT
involves compromises. The Mailstrom project manager tells me that our users are
clammering for charcter styling, and since those are mostly university students,
the mail they send to each other is expected to dominate, making RT desireable
Dana S Emery <de19(_at_)umail(_dot_)umd(_dot_)edu>