[Doc-SIG] formalizing StructuredText

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) tony@lsl.co.uk
Mon, 26 Mar 2001 10:14:21 +0100

Gosh, it's been a busy weekend. Let's assume, for the moment, that this
dicussion is still worth pursuing!

Edward D. Loper wrote:
> Fine by me, as long as we explicitly say that all spaces in text
> (not in literals) are soft.  It seems like the parser *should*
> reduce sequences of multiple spaces, but I'll live if it doesn't
> (c.f., XML parsers are required to reduce sequences of multiple
> spaces in attribute strings like this: '<x y="a   b   c">').

I'm actually happy either way - I think STpy (in draft) currently says
that trailing spaces may be lost and that spaces in (not literal) text
may be conflated, which leaves it open. I would easily be convinced that
those "may"s should be "shall"s...

(thinks for 30 seconds) - OK, I shall make it so. Spaces in non-literal
text shall be "reduced". They are already "soft".

> [Tibs discusses ***]
> Ok.  So, on further thought, *** can be given consistant meaning
> (assuming a left-to-right-style parsing):
> CURRENT CONDITION |       Meaning
>  Emph? | Strong?  |
> -------+----------+-------------------
>   no   |    no    | start both strong & emph
>   no   |    yes   | end strong, start emph
>   yes  |    no    | end emph, start strong
>   yes  |    yes   | end both strong & emph
> If you do give '***', that is the meaning it should recieve.  Note
> that '****' shouldn't ever really have a meaning.


> I guess I'll just have to wait for your nested-coloring regexps. :)
> (But I still think that '***' is potentially confusing to readers,
> and that's a Bad Thing).

This is difficult for me, as I will type it with little-or-no thought
(which we all know, of course, is not the same as reading it easily!). I
think this is a "debate it later" topic (assuming we *have* a later).

(of course, Eddy may be unhappy, since he said:

> I'm glad you're both only discussing this hypothetically, then,
> and both don't want to allow *** at all.  If `unambiguous' was
> all it took, ***this*** would be unambiguous, too - this is
> emphasised *and* strong.

because I can't see what is *wrong* with '***this***' myself - but I
note that Edward agrees with Eddy on objecting to it.)

Meanwhile, Edward Loper continues to worrit at the "quoted text for
emphasis" problem:
> Another idea I've been toying with (in my more restricted version
> of ST) is to *only* allow a *single* word to be emphasized.  If
> you want to emphasize multiple words you have to *do* *it* *like*
> *this*.  That seems much safer/more local/etc..  And I can't
> think of the last time I tried to emphasize more than 2 words
> at once anyway.  *It just looks weird, and is hard to read, if
> you try to emphasize a big region.*

I agree that it is difficult to "see" a large text emphasised, but I
also don't think I would be happy having to emphasis individual words in
that style. I believe I *do* emphasise more than one word on occasions,
but don't actually *know* (and certainly one word cases *do*

Right - that's that thread, on to the next


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