Monday, August 19, 2013

wHTML

No one likes another buzzword. However, buzzwords can be handy. They make it clear what we're talking about, which is especially useful for technical things, and can serve as unique identifiers for Google searching.

Thus, awkwardly, I introduce a buzzword acronym I've been using lately:

wHTML

This term is short for "whitespace-enabled hyper text markup language," and refers to the sort of formatted text used by blogs like Wordpress and various other CMSen.

It's HTML formatting, but unlike conventional HTML, which requires you to specify whitespace using paragraph tags, it uses line-wrapped style text formatting. This intuitive format has gained popularity because of its use on blogs and other online editor situations.

The use of both HTML, and breaking of one of the fundamental concepts of HTML, causes much confusion. I can't just phone up a friend and say "Hey, I'm sending you the HTML for that," because it's not really HTML. It's free text using HTML for markup, or more appropriately, markdown. But I can't call him or her up and say it's free text, either, because then there will be all these unexpected HTML tags to strip out.

Some people suggest I should just throw the text in Microsoft Word and then send that, but really, dropping into expensive software packages and proprietary formats isn't my bad if there's an easier solution.

There is: I'm telling people I'm sending them the wHTML and referring them here for an explanation.

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