From: James Kass (email@example.com)
Date: Sat Jun 18 2005 - 21:33:21 CDT
Gregg Reynolds writes that talking about whether or not any
representation of plain text is plain or not is plain ridiculous.
Agreed. It's pointless to talk about it when all one needs to do is
to compare the representation of text against the Unicode glossary
definitions of "plain text" and "rich text".
> You cannot possibly have the slightest
> idea whether or not a text represented using "bold, italic, underlining,
> changes in front size and style etc." is originally plain text or not.
The easiest way to find out is to open the original file
in any plain text editor. Even without that simple test,
knowing about the application which is displaying the
text offers valuable determinative pointers. For example,
many C editors apply a higher level protocol to the plain
text source files in order to present text in various colours
or styles. That representation doesn't alter the fact that
original source files are plain text.
By definition, a C source file is plain text. By definition,
the representation of a plain text C source file in any editor
which applies a higher level protocol to the text before
displaying it is rich text.
Quoting from the Unicode glossary:
"Plain Text. Computer-encoded text that consists
only of a sequence of code points from a given
standard, with no other formatting or structural
information. Plain text interchange is commonly
used between computer systems that do not share
higher-level protocols. (See also rich text.)"
"Rich Text. Also known as styled text. The result
of adding information to plain text. Examples
of information that can be added include font
data, color, formatting information, phonetic
annotations, interlinear text, and so on. The
Unicode Standard does not address the
representation of rich text. It is expected that
systems and applications will implement
proprietary forms of rich text. Some public
forms of rich text are available (for example,
ODA, HTML, and SGML). When everything
except primary content is removed from
rich text, only plain text should remain."
> Representation of text is not text.
Text which is represented as text is text.
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