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Re: Problem with <PLAINTEXT>

From: Masayasu Ishikawa <mimasa@w3.org>
Date: Wed, 15 May 2002 05:35:32 +0900 (JST)
Message-Id: <20020515.053532.104046040.mimasa@w3.org>
To: nickwjohn@hotmail.com
Cc: www-html-editor@w3.org
"Nick John" <nickwjohn@hotmail.com> wrote:

> I'm not sure if you're aware of this as it's probably one of those 
> drastcially under-used tags that may not even be in the specification, but 
> every browser I've tried doesn't recognise the closing </plaintext> tag and 
> accepts all following tags as literal text.

For better or worse, that's what "plaintext" was designed for.  From
the description of a very early version of HTML [1]:

    This tag indicates that all following text is to be taken litterally,
    up to the end of the file.

Such a behavior is not expressible in SGML, and this element has been
deprecated from very early days.  " Example and Listing: XMP,
LISTING" of RFC 1866 [2], a.k.a. HTML 2.0, noted as follows:

      NOTE - In a previous draft, HTML included a <PLAINTEXT> element
      that is similar to the <LISTING> element, except that there is no
      closing tag: all characters after the <PLAINTEXT> start-tag are

It was included in HTML 2.0 and 3.2 as a deprecated element for
backwards compatibility, and has been removed from HTML 4 [3].
Of course XHTML has no support for "plaintext", and you should never
use this element for new documents.  It's pretty much obsolete.

[1] http://www.w3.org/History/19921103-hypertext/hypertext/WWW/MarkUp/Tags.html#7
[2] http://www.rfc-editor.org/rfc/rfc1866.txt
[3] http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/appendix/changes.html#h-A.3.1.3

Masayasu Ishikawa / mimasa@w3.org
W3C - World Wide Web Consortium
Received on Tuesday, 14 May 2002 16:35:36 UTC

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