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From: Stephen J. Turnbull
Date: Tue, 08 May 2012 13:08:41 +0900

Wolfgang Jenkner writes:
 > On Mon, May 07 2012, Stephen J. Turnbull wrote:
 > > Martyn Jago writes:
 > >
 > >  > [org-mode idioms are] plain text.
 > >
 > > If it gets interpreted by a program and concealed because humans
 > > really aren't interested in it, it's not plain text, it's markup.
 > Except that it isn't.  Gnus article mode does not hide the #+begin_src /
 > #+end_src markers.

Surely you don't expect that to convince anybody!  The important part
of my sentence is "humans really aren't interested in it".  And they
aren't.  It's not part of the code, it's markup.

There's nothing sinful about having markup in plain text, as Ted Z
pointed out.  The problem here is that this markup is annoying or
ugly to many humans, and doesn't contribute to better understanding
when interpreted as plain text.  It doesn't even make it easier to
type, since it *will* be interpreted as text/plain in many
subscribers' MUAs, so it *must* be preformatted as code.

You can and should argue that some annoyance to the many is justified
by the benefits to the org-mode/Gnus users.  But I find that rather
unconvincing, because there are alternative, less obtrusive, ways to
get (code-aware) MUAs (eg, Gnus) to format code specially, such as a
private text/program-code MIME type, or use of a "-*- <mode> -*-"
comment.  These would be more generally useful, and maybe non-Emacs
MUAs would implement them.  As you probably suspect, I prefer the MIME
type approach (it's invisible to users of MIME-capable MUAs) but the
"-*-" convention might work too.  (It has been adopted as a protocol
by other projects, including Python's PEP 263).

My suggestion doesn't even prevent org-mode users from using that
convention, as long as message-mode recognizes it and converts it to a
MIME part.  Sure, this will take a bit of effort since Gnus did it the
other way around, but that was a suboptimal.  It should be improved.

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