Re: <plaintext> tag obsolete? I think not!

Peter Flynn (
20 Jan 1998 00:31:03 +0000 (GMT)

Date: 20 Jan 1998 00:31:03 +0000 (GMT)
From: Peter Flynn <>
In-reply-to: <> (message
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: <plaintext> tag obsolete?  I think not!

   >From: Jamie Gerdes <>

   I've read a few websites that said the <plaintext> tag has become obsolete
   now that we have the <pre> tag.  And that it is no longer supported.

That is correct, PLAINTEXT was obsoleted several years ago.

   Now there seems to be no way to print out html code with converting all the
   < and > characters to their ascii equivalent (&#060; &#062;).  This isn't

Correct. Only < and & need converting. > remains valid in character
data (but you'd need to check that browsers obey this rule). They
should be converted to their entity names &lt; and &amp; not to
the decimal values.

   Can anyone please explain to me WHY the <plaintext> tag has been

Because CDATA declared content is a royal pain in the butt to support.
Just stop to think: how would <PLAINTEXT> ever end if </PLAINTEXT> was
never recognized as markup? This is why, when PLAINTEXT _was_ still
valid, it could only ever occur as the last piece of markup in the
file, because it was declared with a minimizable end-tag, likewise
BODY and HTML, so no further markup was needed (or could be used).

The demand for markup in PRE (eg <B>, <I>, etc) is way bigger than any
demand for the retention of PLAINTEXT ever was, fortunately.