[Doc-SIG] using the same delimiter on the left and right..

Goodger, David dgoodger@atsautomation.com
Thu, 29 Mar 2001 13:42:03 -0500

Thanks for the encouragement, Guido!

Guido van Rossum writes:
> I think you may be going overboard with features

I agree, and I intend to pare it down to the bare essentials. For example,
descriptive lists are problematic. In the past I *have* noticed your [and
others'] use of ' -- ' for em-dashes. According to the Chicago Manual of
Style, you're not supposed to use spaces on either side of em-dashes, but
people do use this construct and we've gotta live with it.

Trying to enforce rules on people for a supposedly 'transparent' markup
system like ST is ass-backwards. The markup must abide by common usage, not
the other way around. That's the strongest argument against using
single-quotes for inline literals I know of. We can use `backticks` or
`symmetric quotes' or <gasp!> *both*! (I see problems with symmetric, like:
"string assignment: `s = 'this is a string''". Single-quotes are just too
common in all contexts, IMHO.)

> I also like that you define the escaping mechanism
> upfront.  (Using \ to escape means that we're going to have to make
> our docstrings raw strings.  Big deal. :-)

Anti-escape-mechanism people claim that it's not needed. They say
backslashes are hard to use because of overloading (ya gotta double 'em up
sometimes). But if they're not needed, why complain about how difficult it
is to use them? And the only people who will actually use them (in order to
document REs or ST itself) ought to know about raw strings anyhow.