[Doc-SIG] formalizing StructuredText

Edward D. Loper edloper@gradient.cis.upenn.edu
Thu, 22 Mar 2001 08:47:42 EST

> > Of course, you can't reasonably forbid '#' in URLs, so you'll have
> > to put URL recognition before inline recognition *anyway*.. :)
> No, that's not a problem. A '#' in a URL cannot be a starting or ending
> quote, at least not if I have the URL RE right, because it won't meet
> the correct conditions (for instance, it can't have a space before or
> after it). A little messy, but that's how ST works.

Hrm.  Ok, currently STminus says that words can contain #inlines#.
I would *really* appreciate it if you could either run my test cases
on STpy, or at least read through them..  Because this is one of
them, and I'd really like to know where else the test cases disagree
with STpy.


> Now, I have a sneaky feeling that you don't like that sort of approach,
> but so far as I can tell it fits *exactly* the "philosophy" of ST, which
> is to make what the user types, in general, come out as they would
> naively expect - I *think* a naive user would expect the above not to be
> doing quoting.

I'm fine with having things come out exactly as the user expects, as
long as we can do so safely.. So even if the user expects::

    x * y

to come out as an x, an asterisk, and a y, I don't think it should
(under the formalism), since that's not *safe*.  (any emph region
later in the paragraph will seriously confuse things).

> I would also like to delimit URLs - it would make life so much simpler.
> But I also suspect the STNG people won't agree (of course, we might both
> be wrong!). 

Well, I'll start putting together a case to convince them.

> I still don't see why 'x*y>z' *has* to go in literals,
> though - clearly by the current and possible future rules it would work
> (if we do introduce quoting characters for URLs, I would want to insist
> they act with the same sort of rules as literals and Python literals, so
> that maths would be no problem).

Ick.  This makes me cringe. :)  You might have noticed, but I want
STminus to be "safe", in the sense that there should be no unexpected
non-local dependencies.  Consider your own sentence, if people think
they can leave out the apostrophes::

   I still don't see why x*y>z *has* to go in literals,

Now, we have a bold "y>z ", and a mysterious '*' after has! Clearly
not what we want.  (When I say 'x*y>z' *has* to go in the literals,
I mean it has to in order to be a "valid" string).

> I think it would be a marvellous idea - people already are used to it in
> emails, and it makes life simpler all round. Yes, by all means open
> talks on this matter on the STNG arena.

Will do..