[Doc-SIG] A plea

Tony J Ibbs (Tibs) tony@lsl.co.uk
Fri, 30 Mar 2001 11:54:01 +0100


OK, now I have everyone's attention...

There is no way I'm going to be able to respond to everything that I
want to respond to in today's flood on the Doc-SIG. I tried starting,
but I'll not have time to finish. Heck, I probably won't even have time
to *read* it all.

I feel deluged - I nearly had an alpha out, and was dreading having to
rehash old arguments after a PEP, but now it needs doing before a PEP,
before even an implementation to point at and say "here, try that, it's
not as bad as you think".

The weekend is tomorrow. I've got our oldest's fifth birthday to worry
about (eight small children at a party *does* make a horde), and will
probably also be coming down with my partner's flu over the weekend (and
yes, it's flu not a cold, so that's time in bed required, probably).

I'm going to give up for today. I obviously can't tell when I'll be back
next week - depends on illness, if it happens. I *had* hoped to take a
day or so off to finish the alpha release, and I shall still try to do
that (work permitting).


What I personally plan to do is to try to produce a release of a tool
that implements (todays draft, more or less) of the "fat" syntax. This
will give us something to play with, and *may* help to defuse some of
Guido's worries. It will *also* give us a testbed implementation to (a)
mutate in place (i.e., it should have lots of switches to allow it to
choose different subtelties of operation, and include/omit features),
and (b) run it over the standard library, which should be instructive
(if 99% of the standard library were to go through it pleasingly, I'd
start to argue for a winner - not saying it will, but if...).

I strongly stand with Ken and others - I want something that *looks
like* text when I read it *as text*, but can be formatted for
interrogation by tools (to some extent) and presentation with other
tools (again, to some extent).

I appreciate what Edward Loper has been doing for our work, and in my
absence would suggest you listen to him - but I think he's also willing
to give up too much, and encourage him to argue for more functionality.

The specification of ST may be slack, the implementation may be rubbish
(hmm - there's lots of people using it who *aren't* too unhappy, I
gather, despite Guido), but the *concept* is right.

(and, note, I am *not* adopting backslash as a quote character in this
first version - the debate on that is recent enough that I think it is
reasonable to expect people to find it and read it - we had good and
sufficient reason to defer thinking about this.)


Tony J Ibbs (Tibs)      http://www.tibsnjoan.co.uk/
"How fleeting are all human passions compared with the massive
continuity of ducks." - Dorothy L. Sayers, "Gaudy Night"
My views! Mine! Mine! (Unless Laser-Scan ask nicely to borrow them.)