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deimplemenation of <XMP>

From: Herb Verbesey <herb@dsinc.com>
Date: Sat, 2 Aug 1997 22:41:48 +0000
Message-Id: <199708030242.WAA19731@dsi.dsinc.com>
To: www-html-editor@w3.org
The new draft HTML 4.0 specification says:
"The following elements are now obsolete: XMP, PLAINTEXT, and LISTING.
For all of them, you should use the PRE element instead."

I wish to object to the de-implementation of XMP.  It's behavior--at
least in the Microsoft and Netscape implementations--is unique and is
not replaceable by PRE.  The unique and highly useful feature of XMP
is that it not only maintains spacing and formatting characteristics
as in PRE, but it also renders all tags as literal text.  This allows
source listings to be displayed without having to convert certain
characters such as "<" and "&" to their escape equivalents (&lt; and

>From a personal point of view I can attest to the major disruption
such a de-implementation would have.  Our mainframe web server
available to our 500 corporate customers in 25 countries routinely
encases program (script) listings in <XMP> </XMP> pairs for debugging
and tutorial purposes. 

But beyond such a personal view, I should point out that you and
every documentor of HTML should find it useful to be able to use the
following example text:

This example illustrates the basic structure of a list. 
      <LI> ... first list item...
      <LI> ... second list item...
It is rendered by your browser as:
      <LI> ... first list item...
      <LI> ... second list item...

I do not have the same objection to the deimplementation of LISTING
and PLAINTEXT since they are currently implement differently and
inconsistently by Microsoft and Netscape.

I don't know if the original name of XMP meant "example" or "exit
markup protocol," but rather than de-implement XMP I would suggest
that it would be more useful to define and promote its use as
currently implemented by Microsoft and Netscape.
Received on Saturday, 2 August 1997 22:43:03 UTC

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