=head1 NAME

C<String::Tagged::Formatting> - an API specification for simple formatted strings

=head1 DESCRIPTION

A primary use case of L<String::Tagged> is to allow storage of a text string
with associated formatting data. As there are a growing number of subclasses
on CPAN that attempt to do this, a common specification is emerging to allow
interoperability between them. This will allow interchange between formats
from different sources, display or rendering, and so on.

Primarily this specification consists of the names and meanings of a set of
tags that a conforming string should supply, though it also suggests a pair of
methods useful for converting between different types of object and the
standard formatting. Specific implementations may not be able to represent all
of the tags of course; this specification only gives the suggested way to
represent those formatting styles that the implementation actually
understands.

=head1 TAGS

=head2 bold, under, italic, strike, blink, monospace

Tags with boolean values indicating bold, underline, italic, strikethrough,
blinking and monospaced font.

=head2 reverse

Tag with boolean value indicating reverse video; i.e. the effect of swapping
foreground and background colours. This effect is common on terminal-based
string systems, but is unlikely to be found elsewhere.

=head2 fg, bg

Tags with L<Convert::Color> instances giving foreground and background
colours. The use of a C<Convert::Color> instance allows specific
implementations to be able to represent their own colour space, while still
supporting an easy conversion to the colour spaces used by others.

=head1 METHODS

The following methods should be provided on conforming implementations, to
indicate their support of this specification and to allow easy conversion from
and to it.

=head2 as_formatting

  $fmt = $st->as_formatting

Called on an existing instance of the class, returns a C<String::Tagged>
instance (or some subclass thereof) containing only the tags and values
defined by this specification. This method may simply return the original
instance if the tags natively used by it already fit this specification, or it
may return a newly-constructed instance by converting its own tag formats.

Use of the C<clone> method with C<only_tags> and possibly a C<convert_tags>
map should be able to implement this in most cases.

=head2 new_from_formatting

  $st = String::Tagged::Subclass->new_from_formatting( $fmt )

Called as a class method on the target class type, returns a new instance of
that class constructed to represent the formatting contained in the C<$fmt>
instance, which should contain only the tags given in this specification. If
the class natively uses tags as per this specification, this can be a trivial
clone, otherwise some conversion will need to be performed.

Use of the C<clone> method with C<only_tags> and possibly a C<convert_tags>
map should be able to implement this in most cases.

=head1 KNOWN IMPLEMENTATIONS

=over 4

=item *

L<Net::Async::Matrix::Utils> - Contains a pair of functions to convert a
formatted I<Matrix> message body to and from this format.

=item *

L<String::Tagged::IRC> - parse or build IRC formatted messages and convert
bidirectionally to this format.

=item *

L<String::Tagged::Terminal> - build terminal control sequences for message
formatting and convert bidirectionally to this format.

=back

=head1 AUTHOR

Paul Evans <leonerd@leonerd.org.uk>