text-first design

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Text-first design refers to the practice of designing information so that it is usable/actionable in its most basic plaintext form. It is also a form of progressive enhancement, where the most basic form is text, adding increasing amounts of non-text content such as hyperlinks or images.[1]

Contents

Examples

Pre-web examples

Pre-web examples of plain text publishing are a useful source of empirical examples of explicit formatting using only plain text.

LOD

http://www.textfiles.com/magazines/LOD/

Much/most of this was written pre-web (1987-1993), lots of formatting conventions in the examples therein. LOD was constructed by various authors; apparently each author had their own formatting styles. For example:

   ----------
   Test Sets
   ----------
   Test Sets
   ----------


   Test Sets
   ======

can all mean something we'd now refer to as H2; therefore it offers a wide choice of readable text formatting.

ZIGZAG

I am including this one not for it's subject matter, but rather as an example of block-quotes and paragraph styling that was common back in the day of 80 column displays and Courier-only printers...

http://www.textfiles.com/magazines/ZIGZAG/

Quotes with attribution:

   "Dialectics is the soul of Marxism." [Stalin, _Problems of Leninism_, 1940]

Paragraphs

         On CNN (11:30 a.m., EDT, Apr.13, 1993), former Stanford Univ. English
   professor, H. Bruce Franklin, discussed the recent controversy over the Soviet
   document on U.S. Vietname POWS.

See Also

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