Closed Bug 38176 Opened 25 years ago Closed 25 years ago

The PLAINTEXT element is not implemented


(Core :: Layout, defect, P3)

Windows 95





(Reporter: cplarosa, Assigned: rickg)



The <PLAINTEXT> attribute is not implemented in Mozilla.  This is a depricated 
element, but it would be nice if it was implemented for backwards 
compatibility.  It is implemented in the current versions of Netscape 
Communicator (4.7) and Internet Explorer (5.0).
The <PLAINTEXT> element is considered not deprecated, but obsolete in HTML 4:
see Appendix A, section A.3.1, "Changes to elements", in the HTML 4 spec --

In the HTML 32. spec, dated 14 Jan 1997, says this under 
 > <![ %HTML.Deprecated [
 > <!ENTITY % literal "CDATA"
 >         -- historical, non-conforming parsing mode where
 >            the only markup signal is the end tag
 >            in full
 >        -->
 > <!ELEMENT (XMP|LISTING) - -  %literal>
 > <!ELEMENT PLAINTEXT - O %literal>
 > ]]>

 > These are obsolete tags for preformatted text that predate the introduction 
 > of PRE. User agents may support these for backwards compatibility. Authors
 > should avoid using them in new documents! <PRE> should be used instead.

The HTML 2.0 spec, dated Sept 22, 1995, does not mention <PLAINTEXT> at all,
but has this to say about LISTING and XMP at 
 > The XMP and LISTING elements are similar to the PRE element, but they have a 
 > different syntax. Their content is declared as CDATA, which means that no 
 > markup except the end-tag open delimiter-in-context is recognized (see 9.6 
 > "Delimiter Recognition" of [SGML]). (18) 
 > Since CDATA declared content has a number of unfortunate interactions with 
 > processing techniques and tends to be used and implemented inconsistently, 
 > HTML documents should not contain XMP nor LISTING elements -- the PRE tag 
 > is more expressive and more consistently supported. 

All in all, it appears that <PLAINTEXT> has not been recommended for use in 
HTML documents for close to 5 years now. 

The only question is, should it be recognized in NavQuirks mode anyway,
for 4.x parity?
Assignee: troy → rickg
Component: Layout → HTML Element
Oops, should have dug just a bit further. <PLAINTEXT> was actually considered 
obsolete in HTML 1.0! It was a hack to allow a document sent by HTTP to
contain a text/plain section following an HTML section.

See the 1994 HTML 1.0 spec, 
 > Plaintext
 > Status: Obsolete .
 > The empty PLAINTEXT tag terminates the HTML entity. What follows is not SGML. 
 > In stead, there's an old HTTP convention that what follows is an
 > ASCII (MIME "text/plain") body.
 > An example if its use is: 
 >                        <PLAINTEXT>
 >                        0001 This is line one of a ling listing
 >                        0002 file from <> which is sent
 > This tag allows the rest of a file to be read efficiently without parsing. 
 > Its presence is an optimization. There is no closing tag. The rest of the 
 > data is not in SGML. 

So <PLAINTEXT> is not really an element at all, it's more of a processing
instruction for a UA to stop parsing and just spit out the rest of the file.
In the modern world of mutable Document Object Models, that doesn't sound
reasonable. Marking as INVALID.
Closed: 25 years ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID
SPAM. HTML Element component deprecated, changing component to Layout. See bug
88132 for details.
Component: HTML Element → Layout
*** Bug 275038 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
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