[Doc-SIG] reserved characters

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) tony@lsl.co.uk
Tue, 13 Mar 2001 11:03:44 -0000

Edward D. Loper wrote:
> I'm thinking of adding a number of "reserved characters" to STminus,
> that specific versions of ST may decide to use or not use.  They
> would redefine their own ReservedCharacter production accordingly..
> So:
>   1. Is this a Good Idea?

Well, ST's *do* have reserved characters, sort of, but the problem is
that they're not reserved in all circumstances. So, in STpy, '#' is
special, but only in the context of after a space or beginning of line
and before a non-space that isn't '#', and so on (i.e., when it is
acting as a quotation character).

I think that for STminus's purposes, it might make sense to make
characters reserved, *perhaps*, but for the "full fledged" ST's it
doesn't (they're much more Perl like in this respect, whether Perl works
like that or not (I don't know) since they assume that people can cope
with the meaning of a character changing depending on its

>   2. What characters should be included?  Clearly at least '#' for
>      STpy.  Other possibilities are backquote, at sign, exclamation
>      mark, etc.  I'd like to reserve as few as we can get away with,
>      since the more characters are reserved, the less useful a
>      program written to work on *any* StructuredText document can
>      be.

ZWiki (and other Wikis?) use an initial '!' to mean "not a Zwiki
reference" - so for instance StructuredText would be a reference, but
!StructuredText would not.

'[' and ']' are "force a reference" characters in Zwiki, and will be
used for similar purpose in STpy. But again, it depends on context.

Hmm - on the whole I'm not sure if this helps.

The only thing I *might* give away is '@', since it is rarely used in
text, and not meaningful in Python (but you discuss that in another



Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)      http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/
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