Plain Text With Hyperlinks

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Plain text is elegant but lacks hyperlinks. HTML has hyperlinks but is
bloated. Is there a middle-ground? Is there some kind of protocol that
allows you to write documents that are essentially that way plain text
is except that they have hyperlinks?

Is implementing html-documents in a minimalist fashion the closest one
gets to what I describing or has there been some obscure historical
protocol that implements what I describe but which is now no longer in use?

Best regards,

Torbjrn Svensson Diaz

Re: Plain Text With Hyperlinks

Torbjrn Svensson Diaz wrote:
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If you just want basic document will no special styling HTML can be very

<title>Should have a Title</title>
Just write your paragraphs you can leave off the optional closing tags.
You don't even need the HTML or BODY elements, but I think at least
having the opening tags to organize the document is not too burdensome.
Just use an open paragraph tag to start a new one. Just type plain text
and the only other mark-up you may need is will your hyperlink which
minimally is for example to link to <a href=" ">example
.com</a>. Doesn't took too bloated to me.

Take care,


Re: Plain Text With Hyperlinks

Jonathan N. Little wrote:

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What is elegant in plain text? I can see several possible technical reasons
for using plain text, but that's not about elegance. Plain text is rude,
primitive, and inflexible. Think about an old-fashioned mechanical
typewriter or line printer: they are the technical devices that were
designed to render plain text, due to lack of better technologies.

But most of us use "plain text with hyperlinks" in a sense. When you write
an e-mail message or a Usenet posting in plain text, the recipients software
quite often interprets URLs as hyperlinks. Maybe your newsreader does that;
test: . This is a primitive
form of linking, suitable for plain text.

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That's not minimal at all. You can reduce it to
and in practice you can omit the title element, too.

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It's nitpicking time! An HTML document always has those elements, but their
start and end _tags_ are optional (except in XHTML).

If you want the "elegance" of plain text in the sense of having fixed
division into lines (i.e. text is not reflown according to available width
and style settings), then you can slap <pre> and </pre> around the text.
They will even make the font monospace by default. And links are still

There are many protocols that let you include more or less link-like stuff
into more or less plain text. For example, if you start editing a Wikipedia
page, you will see an editing environment where [[foo]] is a link to
Wikipedia page about foo and [ An example] is a link
to an external URL.


Re: Plain Text With Hyperlinks

On Wed, 10 Nov 2010 10:23:32 -0500, "Jonathan N. Little"

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|<p>        And to make the source code easier to read,
|        you can set your text editor to "hanging indent"
|        so that the codes are out of the way in the margin.
|<p>        Rumor has it that "paragraph" originally meant
|        a mark in the margin:  para graph, beside the writing.  
|<p>        The last time I tried to simulate hanging indent with
|        tabs, the tabs got shifted around.  The |s in the margin
|        were added in the hope that that wouldn't happen if
|        every line begins with a character.

Joy Beeson
joy beeson at comcast dot net
The above message is a Usenet post.
I don't recall having given anyone permission to use it on a Web site.

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