[Doc-SIG] Block quotes

Alan Jaffray jaffray@pobox.com
Sat, 10 Nov 2001 17:08:20 -0500 (EST)

On a completely different note...

On Tue, 6 Nov 2001, Moore, Paul wrote:
> Me too. One of the crucial things about reST to my mind is that it should
> be possible to (quickly) get enough of a grip on the rules to use them
> "naturally" in normal text. A key example of this is the usage of reST in
> E-Mail in this group. It isn't valid reST (normal E-Mail quoting constructs
> simply don't work), but it's *very* readable, and adds useful structure to
> "raw" text.

Having a usable natural markup for email seems to be a common goal;
several of us have mentioned it.  But the email quoting construct
means rST doesn't actually work.

Can we fix this?  What if any section of text

1) where every line starts with the same prefix, either ">" or "> "
2) with blank lines after it
3) with either blank lines, or a line ending with a colon, before it

were treated as a block quote?  This "does the right thing" with most
common email quoting, and I'm having trouble thinking of an example
where it would result in ambiguity.  Nor does it seem complicated.
And with minimal effort (being sure to either add the colon or the
blank line), our messages would actually be valid rST.

For example, the top of this message could be treated identically to::

    On Tue, 6 Nov 2001, Moore, Paul wrote:

        Me too. One of the crucial things [...]

    Having a usable natural [...]

I don't see the need for a new DTD element, but it might be worth adding
a type attribute to block_quote to indicate what sort of quote it is,
in case the desired output styling is different.