Discreet Log #28: Message Text Formatting

08 Apr 2022

Welcome to Discreet Log! A fortnightly technical development update providing a look into the research, projects and tools that we work on at Open Privacy. For our twenty-eighth post Sarah talks about the ongoing message text formatting in Cwtch 1.7.

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Message Formatting Options in Cwtch 1.7

Tone is important, and when writing it is often hard to convey tone without additional modifiers. Communication tools have developed many standards over the years for marking-up text with additional context the most common of these used today being markdown, and related variants.

A task I’ve been wanting to tackle for a while is bringing this very useful context tool into Cwtch and this week I finally found some time to write an initial implementation.

Message Formatting Experiment in Cwtch 1.7


Cwtch 1.7 will feature a Message Formatting experiment option which, when enabled, will render certain text markup in conversation windows.

Message Formatting Experiment in Cwtch 1.7


For the 1.7 release messages will support the following initial syntax, which is effectively markdown plus a few extensions:

  • **bold** which will render bold
  • *italic* which will render italic
  • `code` which will render code
  • ^superscript^ which will render superscript
  • _subscript_ which will render subscript
  • ~~strikthrough~~ which will render strikthrough

Future Additions

Aside from the typical formatters I am also very interested other ways to convey context around communication. One I am particularly interested in is spoiler tags / content warnings which will hide part of a message until interacted with.

That kind of feature requires more work and integration, but is definitely achievable.

Other potentially future formatting options include: pre-customized replies (e.g. for automatic bot polling) which would replace words with interactable widgets which would prefill sent text, and cross-channel links which would allow binding e.g. a list item in a chat message with a list item in an associated list channel.

If you have any ideas for formatting options you would like to see in future Cwtch versions then please get in touch!

This feature is available to test in the latest Cwtch nightly (lLinux and Android, Mac, Windows)


Android Testers

If you have been testing Cwtch on Android and have run into stability issues then please reach out to Dan - we have new nightlies (see above) that might fix some observed issues, but we are interested in getting more detailed logs from people to track down the remainder.


Cwtch Mentions

From time to time people talk about Cwtch on the Internet, and we like to feature them here!


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Sarah Jamie Lewis
Executive Director, Open Privacy Research Society

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Stickers!

Donations of $5 or more receive stickers as a thank-you gift, and $25 or more gets you one of our new sticker sheets! To celebrate our 4th anniversary, we'll even count cumulative pledges since November 2021 to our Patreon.

T-shirts!

Donations of $50 or more can claim a limited edition Privacy is Consent t-shirt as a thank-you gift! By popular request, these black tshirts use high quality screen-printing done locally in Vancouver. Available in both unisex and fitted sizes.


Open Privacy is an incorporated non-profit society in British Columbia, Canada. Donations are not tax deductible. You can Donate Once via Bitcoin, Monero, Zcash, and Paypal, or you can Donate Monthly via Patreon or Paypal. Please contact us to arrange a donation by other methods.


What is Discreet Log?

Discreet Log is a fortnightly technical development blog to give a more in-depth look at the research, projects and tools that we work on at Open Privacy.


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