I don't know SGML. I know "C". I don't want to have to learn much about
SGML to write a richtext interpreter. [...]
I think Keith has expressed here the key point for any MIME rich text standard.
Erik, by all means present us with a SGML subset for mail, but if you expect
it to be implemented widely, then it must be expressed in the RFC-style: clear,
concise and simple. SGML may be an international standard, but can the spec
(or your subset) be understood and implemented quickly by the ordinary
programmer? (Where "ordinary" is not a hacker).
Providing "standard implementations" is nice, but many companies would prefer
to re-implement it themselves to be free of copyright and support problems. As
a programmer, the biggest head-aches I've had have been trying to fit someone
else's code into mine. This is especially difficult if you are trying to take
code written by a Unix programmer with stdin/stdout, single-execution semantics
in mind and fit it into a GUI environment that doesn't have stdin/stdout
semantics and the code must be called more than once.
If your spec is so difficult that it can't be understood and implemented
quickly from scratch, then we may see very few implementations, which will
make the rich text scene worse rather than better.
I have nothing against your proposals, and have read (and agreed with) the
comparison you did between richtext and SGML, but just remember to keep it