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At the forefront, I understand that:
- This is a deficiency with many CMS systems -- Drupal is not unique
- The requested feature if implemented simplistically would break syndication feeds. (I've seen Dave Winer spit gears when people embed markup in newsfeed titles; apparently RSS geeks can get very perturbed about this.)
What I'm looking for is a way to insert markup in an entity's title field and actually have it displayed on the page. I understand that it's possible to hack your themes to make this happen via non-HTML markup code, but this should be a core feature.
Invariably, when producing a site that has any kind of "marketing" purpose, it's important to present page title information that's formatted at the character level, or which includes character entities. For example, I'm currently working on a site to promote a new book. Some pages will have the book's title as the title of the page; other pages will have ordinary titles; other pages will incorporate the book title.
Here's the thing: Book titles must be rendered in italics. No way to do that using Drupal, unless you hack the theme to use non-HTML markup, or unless you suppress display of the Title field and use a header container at the top of the text. Which is tedious, to say the least, and places significant maintenance burdens. (This is another case where Drupal's content management interface is user-hostile to non-technical users.)
Book titles are one example. Here are a few other common sorts of page title presentations on "marketing" sites that you can't do in Drupal:
- Embedded entitites or typographically-sensitive presentation (e.g., proper right/left quote characters, em dashes, etc.: “Wheetabix®—They're Super-Fantastic!”
- Special formatting, as with branding treatments: "More Information About LudoTRAC"
BTW, while the examples are fictionalized, both of these are scenarios I encounter on every site that I implement. As noted, there are themable workarounds, but it really shouldn't be necessary to do it that way. For one thing, relying on the theme to do that lifting is user-hostile, as noted -- it reinforces the (very) common perception that Drupal is "only for geeks", and not suited for sites where less-technical users might have to maintain content. For another, if you have to embed pseudo-BBCode markup (or the ilk), you'll be sending out garbage in your newsfeeds. Not good.
HTML tags will need to be removed when rendering the entity title in a tag or in an RSS field, but HTML entities (special characters) should remain.